As cities grow larger, they increasingly face problems caused by transport and traffic. Urban Air Mobility (UAM) offers a promising opportunity to mitigate road (surface) congestion by taking urban mobility to the third dimension – the airspace. The EU-funded project AURORA (sAfe Urban aiR mObility for euRopeAn citizens) will develop and integrate safety-critical technologies to support autonomous flight UAM in urban environments, focusing its demonstrations primarily on emergency-related applications. To foster adoption of UAM, AURORA will involve end-users and relevant stakeholders in all phases of its journey.
Urban Air Mobility is a fairly new concept for European cities and regions. Integration of UAM services and operations into existing mobility plans, in particular SUMPs (Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans), is hindered by various technological, regulatory, economic, environmental, social and operational barriers. To address these challenges, AURORA brings together a multidisciplinary team with expertise in aeronautics, smart mobility, intelligent transport systems, urban planning and citizen engagement.
The overall objective of AURORA is to develop and integrate safety-critical technologies to support autonomous flight UAM in urban environments, i.e. intelligent self-piloted Urban Air Vehicles, capable of autonomous trajectory generation and landing while detecting and avoiding obstacles (both in the air and on the ground) in normal and abnormal conditions.
Safe and robust autonomous flight operations are crucial for the adoption of UAM. We start from state-of-the-art passenger-carrying VTOL aircraft and incrementally advance existing automated flight solutions towards fully autonomous self-piloting one with artificial intelligence-supported environment perception sensing capability. To test and validate our solutions, a digital twin environment will be developed to serve as a testbed for both virtual demonstrations and real-world demonstrations, taking place in a controlled environment, reaching TRL level 6.
Silvio Semanjski, SealAero
AURORA believes in creating solutions that do not only extend and complement current mobility systems, but more importantly have a beneficial impact on people and society. By facilitating the integration of UAM in a safe, secure, quiet and green manner, AURORA proposes to pave the way towards smarter cities and pioneering services. AURORA’s unique multidisciplinary consortium will not only bring exciting new technological developments, but also ensure that innovation in UAM meets the needs of citizens and stakeholders, resulting in services that create added value for them.