Advancing Air Mobility in Illinois

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

As more people are moving into cities, city sprawl is continuing, and roadway congestion is intensifying. Both factors have resulted in an increasing commute time across the world. These trends are expected to continue well into the future, with the number of people living in cities increasing from 55% in 2018 to 66% in 2050 (Zmud). If individuals continue to rely on personal automobiles as their primary transportation mode, traffic will continue to mount until gridlock is common to every trip. As such, people have begun to look towards the sky for inspiration in relieving such ground traffic. Enter: Advanced Air Mobility. Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) “is an umbrella term [that] defines a future concept of mobility and transportation of people and goods. AAM incorporates use cases of urban, suburban and rural transportation using innovative Aerial Vehicles, such as UAVs [and] eVTOLs, amongst others” (Flight Crowd). While short-haul cargo might be a new application of regional mobility, passenger-carrying helicopter flights are not a novel idea. Private helicopter flights have existed for decades, but they have largely only been available to politicians, elite business travelers and wealthy individuals. In fact, the first on-demand air taxi commuter services were established in the early 1960s. Air General operated a system where customers could request and reserve flights up to 30 minutes prior to a desired pickup time. These on-demand air taxi services concluded in the 1970s due to difficulty scheduling service, financial infeasibility, unclear airspace regulations and fatal accidents. While helipads and vertiports have long topped city buildings, there have not yet been any feasible public, on-demand aerial mobility services implemented in the United States. Until December 2020, Uber Elevate was the primary company that was trying to revitalize on-demand urban air mobility using new technologies to address the challenges of 1960s on-demand mobility (ODM). U
StatusActive
Effective start/end date9/1/212/29/24

Funding

  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (087795-18586 Mod No. 03 // 1775200501)
  • Department of Transportation (087795-18586 Mod No. 03 // 1775200501)

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