Master Class 4: Vertical Mobility in Urban Environments – Challenges and Success Factors


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  Stuttgart/Braunschweig/Karlsruhe, 23 July 2019. Vertical mobility is seen in many ways as a key technology and solutions provider for future urban viability. For smart cities, it is set to provide a real efficiency boost. Adding air taxis to the urban transport mix, for example, is intended to ease the burden on gridlocked streets and bring passengers to their destinations quickly, safely, and without harming the environment. The first pilot projects have been successful. No wonder, then, that the World Economic Forum recently praised the German company Volocopter as a technology pioneer.


“Vertical mobility in cities” will be one of four Master Classes at the 2nd EUROPEAN DRONE SUMMIT (EDS) held in Stuttgart on 18 and 19 September as part of INTERGEO, the world’s leading trade fair for geodesy, geoinformation and land management. On the morning of 19 September, experts from business, industry, finance and politics will discuss their visions of how Urban Air Mobility (UAM) might work. How far have we actually come in developing the technology, and what challenges exist, particularly in terms of integrating UAM into existing infrastructures?


The following panel members have already signed up:

- Manfred Hader, Roland Berger

- Alexander Nase, FEV Consulting

- Luis Antonio Sancha Garcia, Volkswagen Airservice

- Jan-Hendrik Boelens, Volocopter

- Chris Smith, Playfair Capital, Managing Partner

- Renate Presslein-Lehle, head of the municipal planning and building authority in Ingolstadt


Social questions

One of the areas this Master Class will focus on is social questions, since creating the necessary infrastructure in smart cities will change how society lives there. But what effect will smartness have on the population? Will urban living space become even more expensive? Will plots of land near landing pads lose value, or will connecting an industrial zone help develop the site? These are important questions to which Renate Presslein-Lehle can provide answers, thanks to her valuable experience as head of the municipal planning and building authority in Ingolstadt, a pilot region for UAM.


The challenge of infrastructure

Manfred Hader from Roland Berger has researched integrating UAS into the urban environment in innovative major cities such as Dubai. “Building suitable, reliable vehicles is one side of the coin. The other is establishing the associated infrastructure, because without it, the aircraft themselves won’t be able to function. eVTOL landing pads, charging infrastructures and maintenance facilities need to be created as key prerequisites for successful operational business models. Without them, bottlenecks will arise that could nip the nascent UAM market in the bud and stunt its growth,” says Hader, who heads Roland Berger’s Global Aerospace & Defence Practice.


Success through collaboration

FEV Consulting is also currently actively involved in the autonomous flying taxi project in Dubai. Its Managing Director Alexander Nase considers collaboration to be one of the success factors in building up the infrastructure. “Close collaboration between manufacturers, infrastructure operators and regulatory authorities is crucial. The interrelations and complexity are huge, so it takes collaborative consortia such as the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) initiative supported by the EU Commission to develop new air traffic solutions within and between towns.


Interfaces needed

This type of collaboration needs functioning interfaces, however. Jan-Hendrik Boelens from Volocopter knows how to plan these and which business models they should be based on. For years, Volocopter has not only been continuously developing UAM technology, but also taking a pioneering role in terms of working closely with aviation authorities and defining standards for infrastructure and safe operations. As its Chief Technical Officer, Boelens is one of the leading thinkers of this new aviation market, and he will be sharing his thoughts during the Master Class.


The need for new vertical mobility

Luis Antonio Sancha Garcia from Volkswagen Airservice GmbH predicts that in future, every large company will need its own air operations in order to survive. During the Master Class, he will explain the reasons, and why we need a new form of air traffic at all.


Expanding passenger transport

In addition to passenger transport using UAM, the Master Class will also be turning the spotlight on other areas of potential added value, focussing on medical supplies in inner cities and delivering consumer goods, for example.


Interaction expressly desired

The Master Class format relies on critical input from all involved. The host will therefore actively encourage the audience to contribute to the discussion. In addition, the experts will also be on hand during the breaks.


Tickets available now

The ticket shop can be accessed online at: https://europeandronesummit. eu/en/register

The early bird discount is available until 18 August 2019.



The EUROPEAN DRONE SUMMIT is the European platform for the exchange of current needs of the UAS industry, for those interested in the industry and for long-time experts. Specialized sessions on business models and strategies, especially on the topics of safety and security through and against UAS, integration of UAS in the entire airspace, vertical mobility with UAS in urban environments, and UAS services using the example of medical care. The international conference is hosted by UAV DACH e.V., the leading professional association for commercial unmanned aviation, and HINTE Expo & Conference.

INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS part of INTERGEO is Europe’s leading platform for commercial and civil drones, which takes place at the same time. Around 170 exhibitors and over 10,000 trade visitors from Europe, North America and Asia are expected at Messe Stuttgart. Live demonstrations by leading suppliers will be held in the Flight Zone on all three days.

SMART CITY SOLUTIONS will also be held as part of INTERGEO, with its own exhibition area and high-ranking conference programme. The solution platform is the ideal opportunity for city developers and traffic, safety and environmental experts to familiarize themselves with drone technology.


Event date and slogan

Strategic Concepts for Unmanned Aviation in Urban Areas

18–19 September 2019 in Stuttgart


Information, programme and registration at w w w. europeandronesummit. eu


You can download the press release here: https://europeandronesummit. eu/en/press-release/vertical-mobility-in-urban-environments-challenges-and-success-factors



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