Comparative Analysis of Traditional Air Taxi and Urban Air Mobility

  • July 13, 2023

Cilt/Volume 5, Sayı/Number 1, Haziran/June 2023 Sayfa/Pages 21-43 43 İzmir Sosyal Bilimler Dergisi/İzmir Journal of Social Sciences Ö.F. SAVAŞ – Y. GÖKŞEN

Extended Summary

With the developments in technology, almost everything is changing, from communication to transportation, to the way we shop, and technology takes an even greater place in our lives in every field. Today, the importance of transportation for people, from city planning to technological developments, from commercial activities to logistics and supply chain, almost every subject in our daily life is somehow related to transportation. Increasing city populations have brought along many problems waiting to be solved, including transportation. The importance of transporting people, goods and services at low costs, safely and in the least harmful way to the environment is an indisputable reality. Urban Air Mobility (UAM), which we can consider as the air pillar of the mobility revolution, which is among the goals of the super smart society 5.0, by definition, refers to a set of tools and operational concepts proposed to provide on-demand or scheduled air transportation services within a city area. VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing), eVTOL (Electric Driven Vertical Take-off and Landing) and STOL (Short Take-Off) emerged as an integrated concept from UAVs and rotary wing systems, which are used effectively in many fields with the developing technology and whose usage area is expanding every day. and Landing) aerial platforms seem likely to be used as manned, semi-autonomous and autonomous in areas such as urban transportation, retail cargo transportation, and health in the near future. With the use of UAM Systems; With the use of VTOL, eVTOL and STOL aircraft, which have low maintenance and operating costs in short distances, travel routes will be shortened, urban transportation maintenance and operating costs will decrease, and Vertiports, which are access points to UAM systems, are likely to increase.

Along with the falling operating costs, the increase in accessibility to air transportation and accordingly triggering the hidden demand potential for air transportation, along with the relief of land traffic in cities, decreasing emission rates and saving time, which is the most precious limited resource, are expected. In the integration of UAM systems into cities, SWOT (Strong and Weak Opportunities Threats) analysis of this new system with traditional air taxi services was performed, opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses were determined, a comparison analysis of eVTOL aircraft concepts was made, and results and evaluations were made. Before conducting the research, an important step of the research is to determine the participants, which is the most important starting point of the research. The participants consist of a sample group of 9 people selected from experts from Turkey and abroad, who have worked in different aviation projects for many years in the aviation industry, and who follow the industry and aviation technologies.

For SWOT analysis of traditional air taxi and Urban air mobility systems, SWOT items created with the data obtained in face-to-face interviews with experts to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of Urban air mobility and Traditional air taxi services are sent via e-mail to the sample consisting of experts. 1-Strongly Disagree, 2-Disagree, 3-Undecided, 4-Agree and 5-Completely Agree. The final SWOT analysis items were created by collecting the information obtained. According to the research, when the available data are examined, the opportunities and strengths of the urban air mobility systems reveal that it is inevitable to apply the systems in the cities of the future, even though they contain weaknesses and threats.

Urban Air Mobility systems are predicted to be a driving factor in innovation in the areas of urban transport, supply chain, aviation battery technologies and law in the next few years. In line with sustainable urban mobility policies in densely populated cities and around the city, human and cargo transportation is provided to facilitate urban transportation, decrease in exhaust emission values, decrease in noise pollution in the city, Monitoring of agricultural and forest lands, spraying activities, Surveillance of water resources and seas (bilge release to the sea) and preventing the discharge of factory wastes to clean water resources), the detection of illegal construction, illegal fishing, migrant smuggling activities, and the idea that Urban Air Mobility systems should be effective in city planning and dissemination in advanced stages. With the widespread use of eVTOL aircraft over city areas, its usability in activities such as the coordination and direction of surveillance teams in events such as Fire, Earthquake, Forest Fire, and the surveillance of the city comes to the fore. In order for the safe and effective use of urban air mobility systems, there is an opinion that the promotion and technology demonstration activities should be accelerated for the establishment of a city barrier database, the determination of legal regulations, and the acceptance and participation of the public in line with the information obtained from expert opinions.

A lot of work is being done for Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) and hybrid systems. The need arises to meet the requirement of the urban air mobility system, which includes many disciplines and technologies, for service providers, users and authorities to collect the data they need for the management, use and follow-up of the system, associating with each other, making sense and visualizing them and presenting them to the needy. Information technologies are of great importance for users, service providers and authorities. It is seen that service providers need information solutions where information including all steps in a flight operation concept is provided and aircraft technical data are presented to the authorities to be given to the authorities, and information solutions where all the information they need for their users to experience flight with eVTOL aircraft is compiled and delivered to the users.

In order to manage the air traffic in the city area quickly, safely and simultaneously with other aircraft operating in the same airspace, the aircraft should transmit their data to a common database via satellites and mobile networks, and the data in the common data pool formed instantly and up-to-date from the necessary operations and analysis. It is necessary to develop IT solutions that will allow the use of all aircraft in the city area by passing through the city area, to prevent possible accident killings and to manage city air traffic safely and quickly.

Credit to: Omer Faruk Savas M.Sc., Member of ATOS Association