The city of Dallas, Texas, continues in Uber Technologies Inc.’s plans as a pioneer in its urban aerial mobility (UAM) initiative. It is the second U.S. city that the transportation company has announced as a pilot in its aerial program. Market studies for urban air mobility are moving forward.
For this purpose, Uber has built an air terminal at the Frisco station, north of Dallas, that will allow users to travel by air, without traffic, and in just six minutes, to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.
This small terminal is strategically located along the Dallas North Tollway, where its shared autonomous cab services would also operate once routing is completed in November 2021.
According to various corporate information, Frisco’s current commercial and business growth has been a critical factor in being chosen as a pilot site for aerial mobility tests. However, according to the same sources, there is a high probability that Uber will build a landing strip soon.
Uber has promised to different media outlets that it has a target date of spring 2023 to start air mobility operations in ridesharing mode.
Although it has not given many details about the initial vehicle or the fleet with which it will begin operations, Uber continues to seek partnerships with aircraft manufacturing companies.
The carrier has not yet given the details of the vehicle or the fleet of vehicles. Still, it remains consistent in its plan to begin offering the ridesharing air mobility service to the public in 2023.
In fact, Uber continues to seek partnerships with aircraft manufacturers and has met repeatedly with some eVTOL manufacturing companies and large corporations in the air business such as Aurora, Pipistrel, EmbraerX, and Jaunt.
Agreements with NASA
Uber recently signed an alliance with the U.S. space agency NASA to research concepts and design appropriate technologies for UAM, especially in passenger and cargo transportation.
This cooperative alliance is nothing new. In fact, this is the second collaborative effort of both organizations, where Uber is committed to contributing valuable information to the space giant’s UAM program.
Currently, Uber is working with NASA to develop software for the routing and management of flying cab routes, which would work similarly to the terrestrial services that users enjoy daily in almost any city in the world.
This strategy will be based at NASA’s facilities at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW), where a simulation of air transport traveling at peak hours will be performed. Later, NASA will analyze the results and warnings of the system.
The first results
NASA’s definition for UAM found this system to be the most appropriate for air transport within an urban area, not only for transportation but also for small cargo such as parcels and other unmanned flight services.
NASA UAM consulting experts studied the best procedures and proposed routes for overflight in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) airport and the progressive and systematic evaluation of the impact of the UAM traffic level during the operational time of each of the controllers.
For this purpose, a simulation was performed where three levels of UAM traffic density (high, medium, and low) were observed, thanks to vehicles at different flight timings.
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