As populations grow, traditional traffic infrastructure is pushed to its limits. Mobility is therefore expanding into the third dimension – the airspace. AiRMOUR is a research and innovation project supporting sustainable air mobility in urban contexts via emergency and medical services.
Efficient and ecological transportation in urban areas is becoming increasingly difficult to handle. In the European Union alone, traffic congestions are estimated to cost approximately €100 billion annually.
The EU-funded AiRMOUR project focuses on researching and validating novel concepts and solutions to make urban air mobility safe, secure, quiet and green but also more accessible, affordable and publicly accepted. As the airspace offers the potential to create a faster and cleaner transportation system, new forms of Urban Air Mobility (UAM), such as passenger drones, are getting more attention. Similar to the adaptation process of electric cars, there are challenges to overcome related to for example technology and aviation regulations.
The AiRMOUR project aims to tackle one of the most critical real-life applications of urban air mobility, namely Emergency Medical Services. Within the AiRMOUR project, personal air vehicles for doctors and medical supplies are validated in real-life demonstrations in Stavanger (Norway), Helsinki (Finland), the region of Nord-Hessen (Germany) and in simulations in Luxembourg.
Towards increased urban air mobility competence
Cities need to start integrating air mobility in their urban planning processes and need better tools for managing this. AiRMOUR drastically advances the understanding of needed near-future actions – not only by urban communities, but also by operators, regulators, academia and businesses in order to build a more sustainable mobile future. The data will be leveraged into practical and real-life tangible tools, ensuring that the impacts are replicated widely.
All outputs of the AiRMOUR project are tested by cities and replicators. The main outputs of the project are the following:
- UAM GIS tool for urban planners
- UAM Guidebook for cities, operators and other stakeholders
- UAM Training Programme in cooperation with Eurocontrol.
Consequently, the most crucial impact of the project is the increased urban air mobility competence of city and regional staff and their partners in public transport, energy, innovation and funding.
For the partners, AiRMOUR allows hands-on testing of the urban air mobility toolbox as well as take-up of future urban air mobility scenarios. Each European local cluster of aviation and urban actors will be able to set up their own urban air mobility realisation. European policy making and investments will be reinforced with AiRMOUR findings and knowledge.
The AiRMOUR consortium with research institutes, national aviation authorities, UAM operators, regional and local urban authorities, and Emergency Medical Services providers will ensure that the impacts will be replicated widely.
The role of Forum Virium Helsinki
Forum Virium Helsinki is the leader of the Work Package on Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation. This entails, among others, raising awareness of the project and its progress, promoting the outcomes and establishing and managing an advisory board.
In addition Forum Virium Helsinki is responsible to contribute to each of the other work packages. This includes facilitating real-life demonstrations of different UAM scenarios related to emergency medical services to be carried out in the second half of the project. It also includes contributing to scenario development, studying risks, determining suitable landing sites and contributing to simulations in the city. Assessing the impact of UAM on existing regulations and the way to integrate (future) drone services in mobility plans and urban development is also an important task. Furthermore, Forum Virium carries out work on public acceptance and attitudes via expert-interviews, citizen questionnaires and focus groups.
Benefits for Helsinki
Cities can only be as smart as the people who live there, which means knowledge exchange and education are crucial factors. AiRMOUR helps Helsinki to prepare for a possible future where autonomous (air) mobility will be the norm. The project provides the city and its partners such as the Helsinki University Hospital with knowledge of these new drone technologies, the possible place in our city of the future and hands-on experience with different air mobility scenarios.
- hosts the first demonstration of an actual use case for an unmanned air taxi in Finland
- educates city staff on drone landing site location selection, suitable flight routes and their future integration in city planning and city traffic management systems
- provides knowledge on the overall impacts of UAM on cities and society: carbon footprint, business, operations
- generates a pragmatic handbook & training for cities on air taxis and drones (eVTOLs: Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing aircrafts)
- strengthens Nordic cooperation through the involvement of Norwegian and Swedish partners.
1.1.2021 – 31.12.2023
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101006601. The European Comission has awarded funding of approximately €6 million for the AiRMOUR consortium. Forum Virium Helsinki receives a budget of €490,500.
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Coordinator)
City of Stavanger, Norway
EHang Scandinavia AS, Norway
Forum Virium Helsinki Oy, Finland
Hochschule Kempten, Germany
Linköping University, Sweden
LuxMobility S.A.R.L., Luxemburg
NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS, Norway
Regionalmanagement Nordhessen GmbH, Germany
Robots Expert Oy, Finland
Swedish Civil Aviation Administration / Luftfartsverket, Sweden
Swedish Transport Administration / Trafikverket, Sweden
University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands
Forum Virium Helsinki is making Helsinki the smartest city in the world together with companies, the science community and citizens.