In pursuit of understanding public perception and expectations regarding Urban Air Mobility (UAM), the AURORA project partner UNIPI conducted a face-to-face citizen workshop in Pisa, Italy on 30 June, 2023. The workshop aimed to engage citizens in discussions surrounding UAM’s potential impact on their lives and the local environment.

The workshop comprised of 14 individuals primarily aged between 40 to 55 years, who are predominantly full-time workers. This diverse group provided valuable insights into various perspectives within the community.

Overall, participants displayed a strong engagement with the workshop’s topics. However, some struggled to understand the concept of autonomous flight and its distinction from automatic flight. The real tests conducted on field seemed to be instrumental as it helped to convey the UAM concept more effectively to the participants. Additionally, participants had difficulty understanding the potential applications and services UAM could offer.

Participants expressed the potential benefits of UAM, particularly in emergency services and the transportation of goods and medical supplies. However, the notion of transporting people via UAM remained less plausible in their opinion.

The local use-cases presented sparked an interest among the participants, leading to discussions about their region’s specific opportunities and concerns related to UAM. While many were intrigued, concerns about privacy and safety were raised as prominent issues. Some participants highlighted uncertainties about UAM.

A significant takeaway from the workshop was the effectiveness of real tests in conveying the UAM concept. This interactive approach significantly contributed to participants’ comprehension and involvement. The workshop revealed the importance of bridging the gap between UAM’s technological complexity and public understanding through real test experiences.

While half of the participants reported a change in their perception of UAM following the workshop, there remains a need for continuous engagement and education about this technology. The workshop highlighted the potential of UAM in emergency logistics and goods transportation, indicating the avenues for its development in the region.

In the pursuit of understanding the concept of UAM, the workshop emphasised the significance of incorporating intermediate application phase to provide real life experiences for participants. This approach enhances engagement and comprehension, making workshops around the topic of UAM more impactful.

Read more here. Stay tuned for the results of our upcoming citizen workshop in Spain!

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