The World Eco­nom­ic Forum (WEF) and the City of Los Ange­les have released a roadmap to sup­port the roll-out of Urban Air Mobil­i­ty (UAM) in cities, found­ed on sev­en key prin­ci­ples of imple­men­ta­tion.

They are Sus­tain­abil­i­ty, Low Noise, Local Work­force Devel­op­ment, Safe­ty, Equi­ty of Access, Mul­ti­modal Con­nec­tiv­i­ty and Pur­pose-Dri­ven Data Shar­ing. All sev­en will be used to imple­ment UAM in Los Ange­les and aim to help pol­i­cy mak­ers in the city to improve qual­i­ty of life with safer, clean­er, qui­eter and more acces­si­ble trans­port.

Los Ange­les May­or, Eric Garcetti, said: “Our city’s strength stems from our cre­ativ­i­ty, our inno­v­a­tive spir­it and our will­ing­ness to test new ideas on our streets – and in our skies – that will inspire and change the world for the bet­ter. Even in the face of COVID-19 today, our eyes are fixed on the hori­zon of a reimag­ined tomor­row, where Urban Air Mobil­i­ty is a cen­tral part of a safe, sus­tain­able, equi­table future.”

Cred­it: World Eco­nom­ic Forum

The roadmap — called Prin­ci­ples of the Urban Sky — has been devel­oped over the past nine months by a work­ing group of more than 50 man­u­fac­tur­ers, ser­vice providers, infra­struc­ture devel­op­ers, aca­d­e­mics, com­mu­ni­ty organ­i­sa­tions and gov­ern­ment plan­ners.

And with a view towards shar­ing it with oth­er cities world­wide, this col­lab­o­ra­tion has been coor­di­nat­ed with tech­ni­cal and oper­a­tional efforts led by Los Ange­les Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, in con­junc­tion with nation­al author­i­ties.

Christoph Wolff, Head of Shap­ing the Future of Mobil­i­ty at the World Eco­nom­ic Forum, said: “The cur­rent pan­dem­ic has cre­at­ed new chal­lenges for trans­port net­works and infra­struc­ture around the world. As we build back bet­ter, these prin­ci­ples pro­vide an eth­i­cal frame­work for plan­ning new modes of aer­i­al trans­port at the same time as we rein­vest in cur­rent forms of tran­sit.”

As cities and regions strug­gle with con­ges­tion, pol­lu­tion and age­ing infra­struc­ture, pol­i­cy-mak­ers are explor­ing how state-of-the-art aer­i­al plat­forms can be part of a mul­ti-modal solu­tion. Com­pa­nies such as Hyundai, Lil­i­um, Volo­copter, Wisk and Uber are already devel­op­ing high­ly auto­mat­ed, elec­tric flight in low-alti­tude air­space.

Com­ment­ing on this new roadmap for the indus­try, Pam Cohn, Chief Oper­at­ing Offi­cer, Urban Air Mobil­i­ty Divi­sion of Hyundai Motor Group, said: “In releas­ing the Prin­ci­ples of the Urban Sky and shar­ing them with the glob­al com­mu­ni­ty, the World Eco­nom­ic Forum and City of Los Ange­les are demon­strat­ing the lead­er­ship soci­ety needs to address cur­rent and future mobil­i­ty chal­lenges.

“How peo­ple move around in 10 years will be dif­fer­ent from how peo­ple move around today. We look for­ward to work­ing with the World Eco­nom­ic Forum, the City of Los Ange­les and oth­er part­ners to ensure UAM plan­ning and devel­op­ment efforts world­wide are inclu­sive, safe, sus­tain­able and peo­ple-cen­tred.”

Eric Alli­son, Head of Uber Ele­vate, added: “Uber applauds the World Eco­nom­ic Forum and the City of Los Ange­les for bring­ing togeth­er indus­try, local gov­ern­ment, and oth­er stake­hold­ers to devel­op foun­da­tion­al prin­ci­ples to inform a com­mu­ni­ty focused pol­i­cy frame­work for urban air mobil­i­ty.

“Uber Elevate’s vision is to pro­vide a com­ple­men­tary mode of trans­port that can seam­less­ly inte­grate with exist­ing trans­port sys­tems to offer an effi­cient and clean alter­na­tive to dri­ving in con­gest­ed urban envi­ron­ments. These prin­ci­ples demon­strate both the indus­try and local government’s com­mit­ment to work togeth­er to realise the poten­tial of sus­tain­able urban avi­a­tion.”

Urban aer­i­al mobil­i­ty will also be fea­tured at the World Eco­nom­ic Forum’s upcom­ing 2020 Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment Impact Sum­mit. It will focus on inno­va­tion, sus­tain­abil­i­ty and entre­pre­neur­ship.

To read the full report on Prin­ci­ples of the Urban Sky, click here.