Urban-Air Port (UAP) has signed an agreement with Blue Innovation, a Japanese autonomous drone and robotics provider, that will see the two companies collaborate on creating proof of concept (POC) for autonomous medical and logistics drone operations.

This co-development of vertiports will establish what is claimed to be the first advanced air mobility (AAM) hub using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Japan, combining ground and air architecture with an autonomous digital platform at the core. 

Critical to this digital infrastructure will be Blue Innovation’s Vertiport Information Management System (VIMS), powered by its proprietary device integration platform capable of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) autonomous control of drones to perform tasks that would normally require human input.

UAP and Blue Innovation are aiming to develop several proofs of concept for practical application throughout Japan in transportation of medical supplies, industrial maintenance, inspection work and logistics solutions, paving the way for remote pilot passenger operations and ultimately autonomous passenger air travel.

Blue Innovation has conducted research and development into a vertiport system since 2016 in collaboration with Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan and the University of Tokyo. 

This combines its digital platform with infrastructure design in groundwork that has already seen Blue Innovation conducting multiple POCs throughout Japan.

Urban-Air Port CFO Adrian Zanelli said: “Collaborating with Blue Innovation establishes us in Japan, providing best-in-class technology as well as a platform for further development and cooperation. 

“Similarly, this agreement gives Blue Innovation broader reach in terms of geography and customers, and we look forward to making the strongest AAM ecosystem in Japan and across the world.” 

Last month, Urban-Air Port (UAP) selected Osprey, one of the UK’s leading charge point operators, to provide charging for vehicles at its vertiport sites as part of its non-aeronautical revenue. 

Osprey will provide a multi-modal hub infrastructure of rapid chargers, powered by electricity generated from 100% renewable sources at a number of sites throughout the UK that accept contactless payments integrated into the UAP app. 

Before that in April, Urban-Air Port opened what it claims to be the world’s first hub for flying taxis, Air-One, in Coventry, UK – representing a blueprint for more than 200 sites to be built worldwide over the next five years.