The hottest McKinsey is not only busy designing ai

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McKinsey: don't just be busy designing air taxis and drones. Air mobile infrastructure is indispensable.

innovators are designing air taxis and drones. But unless stakeholders accelerate their investment in air mobile infrastructure, these will always be castles in the air and cannot be put into practice

traffic congestion forces U.S. drivers to waste more than 3billion gallons of fuel every year, and makes them trapped in cars for up to 7billion hours every year. Many times, we dream that the journey to work is a happy journey, rather than staring at the tail lights on the highway and feeling irritable. Can we reduce long-distance driving by using large unmanned aerial vehicles tailored for passenger transport? In addition, air mobility solutions can improve cargo transportation. Can we provide prescription drugs to the elderly who lack transportation within 20 minutes? Or provide medical services to remote areas? Send food or groceries to places where there are few stores

startups, high-tech giants and other companies have begun to invest in the innovative technologies needed to make this delivery and transportation of UAVs a reality. However, the wider use of air mobility solutions requires other drivers. Potential UAV operators need to develop strong business cases that can attract investors. Regulators will play a key role in developing comprehensive guidance on everything from vehicle requirements to airspace management. Industry stakeholders must educate the public to address core issues related to air mobility, including safety. Another important driving factor, which is often overlooked, involves infrastructure, which is a broad category, including where drones take off and land

it is easy to understand why infrastructure has received little attention. Air mobile solutions themselves are technically complex, and their potential use cases are very attractive, so they often attract the most attention. But now, many companies and private investors have begun to explore the infrastructure assets needed to achieve air traffic. Companies that involve stakeholders in infrastructure dialogues include Amazon, which recently patented its flight management system, and Uber, which is trying to determine the cost and requirements of various infrastructure assets, including electric aircraft that will be used for vertical take-off and landing (evtol). On the government side, it seems that interest in infrastructure is also growing, and some public institutions invest in the development of air mobile infrastructure for UAV use cases. They are also studying how to construct an innovation ecosystem and integrate these systems with existing air traffic management systems

when companies and other stakeholders invest in infrastructure assets, they often face problems about their necessity, because air mobile solutions still have many other challenges to overcome. It is expected that the widespread use of unmanned aerial vehicles delivered within three to ten years will not be realized, and this situation may last longer before the large-scale deployment of passenger unmanned aerial vehicles. However, the schedule for designing, building and acquiring infrastructure (including vertical takeoff and landing points) space is also long, so the company should start planning immediately. If they persist in embracing the sky until the air mobile solution is ready, then their UAV will become a bridge in the air: a useless and expensive technological miracle

in order to help investors, private companies and the public sector avoid this outcome and quickly gain potential benefits when technology is ready, we have identified key infrastructure requirements for the U.S. market. These include traffic management infrastructure, physical infrastructure for receiving parcels or landing vehicles, and supporting technical infrastructure, such as automatic doors for allowing drones to enter warehouses

role of UAV in traffic management

the most mature UAV system (UAS) application and the only application of UAV widely used in the company or consumer field during the Polish friendship week in our city involve short-range monitoring and related photos or videos. During these flights, the UAV operator can identify obstacles as needed and change the flight route as needed, because the equipment is always within its line of sight. All UAVs with longer flight distance need UAV traffic management (UTM), which is a system composed of radar, beacon, flight management service, communication system and server, and is responsible for coordinating, organizing and managing all UAV traffic in the airspace. In the private sector, by 2017, enterprises had attracted $350million to create UTM and related navigation systems, but these are still in the pilot stage

for UAS with a flight distance of more than 400 feet on the ground, the purpose of UTM is similar to the air traffic management system of traditional aviation. It directs the flight path and prevents the collision between UAS and obstacles, such as buildings, other UAVs and aircraft (Interactive). Other important functions include providing real-time (or near real-time) information to help air traffic solutions avoid bad weather, congestion and forbidden airspace

the challenge of building air roads

utm requirements vary depending on height and location. Consider air mobility solutions that typically fly at relatively low altitudes. In rural areas, UTM can be relatively simple because air mobile solutions will encounter few fixed obstacles or air traffic. However, in urban areas, the UTM system must be programmed to check obstacles more frequently and deal with more complex flight paths

utm development and airspace management challenges

in order for UTM to operate, air mobile solutions must be equipped with key technologies, such as detection and avoidance systems and navigation tools in environments where GPS cannot operate, all of which require a lot of investment and testing. Regulatory compliance will also bring obstacles, because it is understandable that the industry must be prepared to solve the safety problems of passengers and personnel under the flight path of UAVs

some air mobility solutions, including cargo UAVs and passenger evtol, must fly in the airspace commonly used by manned commercial flights and general aviation aircraft. This means that stakeholders cannot create UTM in isolation; Instead, they must develop an integrated aviation airspace management system that can help air mobility solutions avoid any airspace obstacles and comply with multiple systems that manage flight rules. This connection can be technically challenging, because today's airspace depends on a strong and sound traffic management system, as well as well-trained pilots and air traffic controllers, who fly at different levels of national airspace and eliminate any conflicts in these areas. In contrast, most future UTM solutions will automatically perform many tasks, and human intervention is limited to emergencies

so far, the development of UTM has been the joint efforts of public and private sectors. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has established a partnership with UAS stakeholders to create a low altitude authorization and notification capability plan, which provides UAS with access to controlled airspace near the airport by processing low altitude airspace authorization in near real time. However, in the future, some private companies may try to gain advantages by creating UTM solutions for specific geographical areas. If this is achieved, air mobile solutions, including small UAS and evtol, must interact with various competing UTM solutions, because they will travel to different regions rather than a single system

stakeholders must ensure that all UTM systems are interoperable and can communicate with each other, as well as with the air traffic management system

physical assets and supporting technologies of air mobile infrastructure

in addition to UTM, air mobile solutions also need three core physical infrastructure assets:

vertical landing airport, vertical landing station and complex helipad, which are convenient for UAS to land and take off; In terms of passenger transport, these will also be used as places for boarding and disembarking

facilities for receiving goods, such as lockers or other storage facilities, for parcel transportation

charging stations, which can be vertical, vertical or low-cost platforms

for all infrastructure assets, the company can adopt a variety of design schemes. For example, they can build a vertical landing airport with a capacity of 3 to 6 evtol, or choose additional space. In areas with limited demand, a vertical lift station that can accommodate one or two vehicles is sufficient. However, there are some common elements in each asset class. Through vertical takeoff and landing, the basic functions will include charging station and safety inspection area. Some may also include evtol for additional battery storage space to help lose charge and cannot withstand downtime. Developers must also ensure that their vertical lift airport design complies with regulatory requirements and state or local zoning guidelines

the composition, density and distribution of air mobile infrastructure assets will vary from location to location. Like UTM, urban areas with high-rise buildings and dense population will have the most complex and expensive infrastructure needs. Considering drone delivery, in rural or suburban areas, UAS may drop packages at the door, backyard or driveway. In contrast, in urban areas, companies need to place receiving facilities on the roof or elsewhere to transport goods to apartment buildings that lack a clear unloading point. These areas also require robots or delivery personnel to transport packages to their destinations over short distances

when budgeting for their infrastructure needs, companies should remember that expensive projects are not their only expenditure. They also need to invest in supporting technologies, such as automated systems that load packages into drones in distribution centers. Finally, they need to fund relevant infrastructure operation technologies, such as the exchange of evtol batteries to achieve more efficient automation systems

next action of air mobile stakeholders

as air taxis and delivery UAVs are still in the early development stage, many air mobile stakeholders have not yet begun to consider the relevant infrastructure needs. But they must quickly turn their attention to creating vertical takeoff and landing airports and other assets to prepare for the future. Here are some key considerations for owners, investors, and government officials


for the owners of physical assets, a major problem is imminent: should they build new infrastructure or try to transform the existing structure to meet the needs of their air traffic computers to receive digital signals with multiple communication modes? Stakeholders must also decide how to profit from infrastructure investment. For example, some people may decide to charge other companies in exchange for their services, while others may see the value of restricting access because it may limit competition among air mobile solution operators

using airspace management, stakeholders must consider regulatory requirements. Consider iterative route planning. Can the UTM system change its route according to new information, or does the air mobile solution always adhere to the path specified at the beginning? In terms of technology, the problem of combining UTM with the existing airspace management system is also worthy of attention


air traffic infrastructure will provide opportunities for investors willing to explore new asset classes

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