Urban Air Mobility safety studied at OKC's FAA facility

Published: Monday, December 30, 2019 By: David McCollum Source: VeloCity

Nearly everyone is familiar with small unmanned aircraft, popularly known as drones, but have you heard of UAM?

The safe incorporation into the National Airspace of UAM, Urban Air Mobility - the flying taxis, the large, 6,000 pound quad copters that Uber Elevate and some other companies anticipate flying human passengers in and around urban environments – is one of the things being developed at the FAA’s Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center here in Oklahoma City.

From autonomous aerial taxis to cargo vehicles, hardware advancements in the urban air mobility market are underway. Regulatory standards and software platforms are also beginning to take shape. In fact, the FAA estimates 545,000 commercial drones will be in use by the end of 2020. These drones will be performing real commercial tasks; they’ll deliver packages, transport people, conduct industrial inspections and provide emergency assistance.

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to large-scale drone deployments is around how these drones will “sense and avoid” other aircraft and potential hazards in the airspace. Reliable “sense and avoid” is crucial to safely enable operations that go beyond visual line of sight. For example, another drone may suddenly enter a drone’s flight path, the wind may pick up unexpectedly or the FAA may issue a notice to airmen (NOTAM) that restricts the current route.

Read the full story on VeloCityOKC.com.

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