19 - 20 June 2018
Köln Messe, Cologne, Germany

All Streams are across 2 days

As populations in megacities continue to grow, the existing traffic situation will become increasingly demanding. Personal airborne transportation systems (PATS) and autonomous aerial vehicles capable of transporting people will quickly transition from being executive and VIP systems to being transport solutions potentially as popular as the car has been.

Projects and trials are already taking place around the world, with major aviation manufacturers, automotive manufacturers, city planners and technology companies all showing a keen interest.

In this dedicated conference stream, over 30 speakers will present and discuss radical new urban mobility concepts and solutions that will take transportation in cities to the third_dimension. They will also examine how these personal airborne transportation systems will fit into the urban landscape, who will be the main players and pioneers, and what effect this highly disruptive new mode of urban transport will eventually have on cities of the future.

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Conference Programme

Day 1: Tuesday 19 June

The Arrival of Urban Air Mobility

The electric VTOL revolution

Mike Hirschberg
Executive director
AHS International - The Vertical Flight Technical Society
Over the past five years, there has been a groundswell of interest in electric and hybrid-electric-powered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft for personal air vehicles, urban air taxis and even military missions. Electric VTOL obviates the need for mechanical power transmission, allowing new aircraft design freedom through approaches such as distributed electric propulsion. More than 50 companies are developing electric VTOL designs today, with many now in advanced stages of flight testing. This presentation will detail the status of the electric VTOL revolution to date, and analyse trends for the future.

The value chain of urban air mobility

Andreas Thellmann
Project executive, economics of urban air mobility
The vision of Airbus for urban air mobility is to enable urban transportation in the third dimension for everyone by providing a convenient, safe and affordable service solution. This presentation gives a comprehensive overview of the entire value chain of urban air mobility and highlights the biggest challenges for the technical and economic domains. Furthermore, the interactions between the different value blocks are discussed. An outlook is given on what the future of urban travel in the third dimension could look like.

Lilium Jet - the world´s first fully electric vertical take off and landing jet

Dr Remo Gerber
Chief commercial officer
Lilium Aviation
Lilium, the German aviation company developing the world’s first all-electric jet capable of vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL), that has received over $100 million in funding to date. In April 2017 Lilium achieved a world first when the full size prototype successfully performed its most complicated manoeuvre - transitioning between hover mode and horizontal flight. The Lilium Jet’s electric jet engines are highly efficient and ultra-low noise, allowing it to operate in densely populated urban areas, while also covering longer distances at high speed with zero emissions. With the jet requiring no significant infrastructure, Lilium will be able to bring high speed transportation services to small cities and villages as well as large city centres for the first time. The Lilium Jet will be able to travel at up to 300 km per hour for one hour on a single charge - meaning an example 19 km journey from Manhattan to JFK Airport could last as little as five minutes. The jet’s economy and efficiency means flights are predicted to cost less than the same journey in a normal road taxi.

Autonomous, on-demand shared mobility – up in the air

Florian Reuter
Chief executive officer
e-volo GmbH
The ever-growing demand for mobility in the megacities of today leaves only one solution: going up in the air and making use of the free lower airspace. Battery-powered, quiet, super-safe drone technology will finally allow the dream of flying for everyone to become a reality within five years. Integrated into the public transport system, the autonomous air taxi gives great flexibility not only to passengers, but also to the municipality, as they can function as on-demand infrastructure.

Autonomous aerial vehicle defines good order of urban air mobility

Derrick Xiong
Co-founder and chief marketing officer
When people head into the new world of urban sky, it’s time to rethink what kind of flying vehicle and mechanism can lead us to a better order of urban mobility than today. With this question, the presentation will introduce EHang184, the world’s first autonomous aerial vehicle, globally launched at CES in early 2016, leading the emerging industry of urban air mobility with a trillion RMB-level market. EHang184 sticks to three core technical concepts: absolutely safe by design; automation, sync flight management platform; committed to delivering a safe, eco-friendly, smart solution for urban aerial transport in good order.

eVTOL – the promise of large-scale, on-demand urban air mobility

Diana Siegel
Programme manager, eVTOL aircraft
Aurora Flight Sciences
eVTOL aircraft promise an entirely new form of urban mobility by taking transportation to the air. Flying instead of travelling on the ground is not a new idea. However, it took the convergence of several technologies to bring this idea within reach: high-performance electric powertrains, vehicle autonomy and ubiquitous connectivity. Although the technology has come a long way, several challenges remain. To fulfil the promise of large-scale transportation, eVTOLs will need to operate at levels of autonomy beyond today’s transport aircraft or cars. Aurora Flight Sciences has been developing the underlying technologies over the course of several programmes, including the Autonomous Aerial Cargo/Utility System (AACUS) or the robotic co-pilot.

How can we build infrastructure for a future that we can’t easily predict?

Karthik Balakrishnan
Head of Project Altiscope
A3 by Airbus
The presentation will discuss what the skies might look 30-40 years from now, and how we can solve the challenge of building fundamental infrastructure for applications for missions that we want to enable today as well as those that can't even be imagined yet. The speaker will look back to the development of the internet and see how we can pull lessons from the way that it was built and architected to be flexible and grow with technological advances. He will also draw parallels to questions being asked during the development of systems for autonomous flight.

Regulatory aspects regarding drones supporting urban mobility

Yves Morier
Principal advisor to the flight standards director
European Aviation Safety Agency
This presentation will outline the state of play in the European regulatory framework for drones, focusing on the open and specific categories (e.g. operation of small drones). The presentation will outline further regulatory developments such as the work on standards, the drafting of an NPA in the certified category (e.g. operations of large and complex drones) and the preparation of regulations for drone traffic management (unmanned aircraft traffic management or u-space in Europe). The presentation will conclude with the spin-offs of drone technology from manned aviation.

UTM traffic management activities at DFS

Ralf Heidger
DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH
The presentation will discuss the drone market and air navigation service providers (ANSPs); the European context of U-Space; drone-related activities of DFS as an ANSP; UTM evolution; U:CON project of DFS and Deutsche Telekom; some achievements and results of the project; further prospects for enabling drone operations business.

Panel Discussion - Will autonomous aerial vehicles/air taxi’s be private ownership for high net individuals, shared economy model for ride sharing, public transport?

Day 2: Wednesday 20 June

Enabling Technology & Overcoming the Challenges for Urban Air Mobility

Electric aviation – the vehicle and infrastructure challenge

Darrell Swanson
Principal consultant
AviaSolutions and a board member of the British Aviation Group
In this presentation we will examine the key characteristics of fixed-wing electric aircraft and EVTOL and assess their operating characteristics against current and future aviation infrastructure. Drawing on previous presentations, we summarise the operating economics of electric aviation route potential and ask the question, “Can we afford the vertiport infrastructure needed to support EVTOL flights sustainably?” We will look at fixed-wing electric aircraft and specifically the challenge of the last 50 miles and the cost of operating at various airports for these aircraft. Additionally we ask the question, “Do electric aircraft need to access hub airports?”

Urban air mobility: real-world lessons

Uma Subramanian
Voom, an Airbus company
The urban air mobility movement has gained an immense amount of momentum in a short period of time. At Voom and Airbus, we too believe that urban air travel will be a major part of the future transportation equation. That said, there are many questions around the market's viability. Is there demand for short-haul air travel? What is the right vehicle configuration? How will the regulatory environment respond? Airbus is taking an experimental approach with Voom, with a goal of answering these questions. Uma will share what has been learned from operating one of the first global urban air mobility companies.

Regulatory challenges for urban air mobility

Gerhard Deiters
BHO Legal
Everyone is talking about urban air mobility in general and drone taxis in particular. In the general perception, passenger transport by drone taxis is not a question of whether or not, but of when and how. However, amongst other things, the current legal framework itself has to evolve, regulatory requirements for the certification of urban traffic management systems have to be established and liability/insurance issues have to be solved, before business can take off. The presentation provides a brief overview of the current legal framework and the legal/regulatory challenges ahead.

The challenges of regulating flying taxis

Paul Rigby
Urban air mobility has huge benefits in Industry 4.0 but flying robots need to play nicely with aeroplanes and helicopters. Big data and AI can be used to take a dynamic, real-time, performance-based regulatory approach enabling a paradigm shift in how we currently regulate air traffic.

Mobile networks speed up low-altitude airborne traffic

Dr Michael Lipka
Huawei European Research Institute
Developments of current drones are just a step towards intensive air traffic at low altitudes including cargo and surveillance drones as well as autonomous passenger eVTOLs. A UTM ensuring safe air traffic utilising air space resources effectively is essential and cannot realised by traditional air traffic control systems. LTE 4G networks can already provide the capability to support drone control, tracking and HD video transmission but it will reach its limits in mass application. Therefore a future-proof 5G cellular radio network, offering safety-relevant low latency and enough bandwidth to support entertainment applications in 'flying taxis' is proposed.

NexTerm – a global innovation collaborative ecosystem for air travel

Jim Robinson
Managing director
Pegasus Aviation Advisors
The presentation will offer a briefing on the NexTerm initiative – a global innovation collaborative ecosystem designed to bring together early adopter airports, airlines, government authorities and technology providers to address trends in technology advancement such as blockchain technology, cloud computing, hyper-personalised connectivity, robotics and autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things and other emerging technologies. The objective of NexTerm is to develop end-to-end urban mobility and air transport outcomes that streamline the traveller’s experience. The focus will be on the opportunities and challenges in leveraging digital technology, addressing: multi-airport/airline collaboration challenges; future-proofing the planning and development process; from proof of concept to delivery.

FLEXCRAFT – V-TOL hybrid aircraft for flexible operation

José Rui Marcelino
Almadesign Lda
FLEXCRAFT is a VTOL aircraft concept to support passenger and logistics markets. The project focuses on developing three technological building blocks addressing mobility challenges for the future: Flight and Operation, including VTOL capability and hybrid electric propulsion; Versatility and Usability, including innovative multimodal interfaces and disruptive interior design approaches and; Materials and Production Processes, to enable low-cost production technologies. FLEXCRAFT consortium includes Industry partners and R&D institutes – Almadesign, Embraer Portugal, IST, INEGI, SETsa and support from Embraer - in the fields of industrial design and mobility, aeronautical engineering, process engineering and aircraft manufacturing.

Finding the power for the electric revolution

Dr Steve Wright
Senior lecturer, avionics and aircraft systems
University of the West of England
Electrical storage and power technologies have made a breakthrough in capability to create a new industry of unmanned aerial vehicles, and the usage envelope has expanded such that personal transport systems are being proposed. However, the very technology that made this breakthrough conceivable is its major weakness: hydrocarbon fuels have provided a gift to the engineer for nearly two centuries now, and the energy storage capacity is proving hard to beat. We have the power, but where will the energy come from? This talk will review the scientific underpinnings of this question, and the technologies that might provide the answers.

Hydrogen fuel cell and battery hybrid system for aviation applications

Prof Josef Kallo
Head of energy systems integration
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
Urban air mobility becomes very interesting for individual transport by introducing new electric, low-noise, propeller-driven propulsion systems. The electrical energy needed is strongly limited by battery system technology and weight. At the DLR battery hybrids – including a hydrogen fuel cell system – show interesting potential for efficient, high-energy storage components. This presentation will show the improvement during the last 12 months of development and discuss future potential.

Autonomous operation of aircraft – facts and challenges

Ali Baghchehsara
R&D lead engineer
VDev Systems and Services
The role of today's digital world is critical for our transportation visions in 2025 and 2050. Autonomous flight, smart maintenance and connectivity of aircrafts are all exciting for the future. But we are not allowed to forget safety and security. Who takes care of that and how, in such a fast-growing world of big data? Are humans able to fight against system hacks? How do big companies view these milestones? Will the pilots lose their jobs, and will people be prepared to fly in aircraft without pilots? These topics will be discussed in this presentation.

Distributed propulsion – electric aviation going forward

Robert Vergnes
Neva Aerospace
Robert Vergnes, chairman and CEO of Neva Aerospace, the original inventor of 3D distributed propulsion in 2009 and static thrust electric turbines (high-efficiency electric ducted fans) will provide an insight into the advance of electric propulsion systems for UAV/UAS and MAV using distributed propulsion and electric turbines. As a myth buster, Robert will provide clarity on the differences and limitations of electric propellers, caged propellers and turbines, then what can be expected in the near future for aero-in-city transportation, and finally an overview of the long-term technological challenges and opportunities for the industry.

Panel Discussion - What impact will AAV’s have on urban congestion and what are the biggest hurdles to their adoption?

Please Note: This conference programme may be subject to change