GE Aviation, a long time leader in flight electronics, has been chosen by Uber Elevate to help develop the data monitoring requirements for its upcoming fleet of shared mobility air taxis. As Uber has mentioned, these aircraft will be developed by Boeing, Bell, EmbraerX, Hyundai, Jaunt Air Mobility, Joby Aviation, Overair, and Pipistrel.

Rendering of the Uber Elevate aircraft concept model

Uber aims to launch its  aerial mobility ride sharing services, called Uber Air, in 2023. In order to do so, the company is developing a flight data monitoring (FDM) program to outline key flight statistics that must be recorded and reported to Uber by all aircraft, including information like airspeed, altitude profiles, and general performance outputs program for its aircraft. Combined with other statistics, this program will aid in ensuring aircraft safety by identifying outlying data that may indicate the need for changes in flight operations.

First introduced in the commercial airline industry over 20 years ago, FDM programs are integral to safety management systems, and have been widely credited with helping to reduce the air transportation sector’s accident rate. According to GE Aviation, its FDM solutions have been adopted by hundreds of airlines and business jet operators around the world, with its patented analytics software used to identify safety events and measurements on thousands of flights every day. The company said its experience working with some of the world’s largest flight data benchmarking programs made its partnership with Uber Elevate a natural fit.

Visualization of DEP (Distributed Electric Propulsion) technology that will be used in Uber Air aircraft
Why it’s important: With this significant partnership announcement, Uber Elevate has taken one important step closer to making its vision of urban aerial mobility networks a reality. The company has been careful with its partnerships by selecting only the most reputable hardware and software developers in the aerospace industry, including former NASA employees for their experience with flight dynamics software development. GE Aviation brings to the table a set of good practices and software reliability for ensuring safety in Uber’s new kinds of aircraft. Initial cities for Uber Air have been announced as Los Angeles, Dallas, and Melbourne.

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