Urban air mobility (UAM) in the form of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles is on the near-term horizon. As aviation enthusiasts, eVTOL manufacturers, UAM providers, cities, air traffic control, and other government agencies are keen to facilitate and regulate this emerging form of transportation, transit network technology giant Uber has conducted a large body of research in a program known as Uber Elevate. The Elevate program has held an annual Summit conference, including a design competition for the facilities that would accommodate eVTOL travel in an urban setting. For the 2018 competition, the design brief was for a large, high-volume facility conceived for the mid- to long-term when the UAM system is more mature; while for the 2019 competition, the design brief was for a smaller facility, intended for actual implementation within 3-4 years, the subject of this presentation. For both competitions, Arup collaborated with design architects Pickard Chilton, of New Haven, Connecticut. The design concept presented here would be a retrofit of an existing parking garage located at the edge of the downtown core. Using sustainable building materials, the design provides spaces for landing and take-off of eVTOLs, and the associated passenger facilities, and also functions as a true transit hub, providing accommodation for a network of other modes, including e-bikes, e-scooters, electric cars, and of course Uber rideshares.
2019 Highlights of Electric Aircraft Breakthroughs
A Practical and Sustainable Transit Hub for Urban Air Mobility – the Uber Elevate Skyport