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Social Sustainable Urban Air Mobility in Europe

Biehle, Tobias

FG Arbeitslehre / Technik und Partizipation

The first step to steer passenger Urban Air Mobility (pUAM) towards the necessity of sustainability is to understand its impact on our urban transportation systems. This research emphasises the social footprint of passenger drones in scheduled operation as an early business model in European Functional Urban Areas. The literature review is guided by the corresponding Sustainable Urban Mobility Indicators (SUMI). The prospective impact which the introduction of pUAM has on the evaluation of European transportation systems regarding their affordability for the public, their inclusivity for mobility-impaired groups, their accessibility to commuters and the level of customer satisfaction is analysed. Furthermore, the impact of pUAM on the perceived quality of public urban space is examined. Results indicate the overall social footprint of passenger drones in European transport systems to be negative. Early market pUAM may lead to an unbalanced distribution of potential benefits, with services tailored to address only a limited number of citizens. Highlighting pathways for a societal benefiting technology, recommendations are provided for urban planning and city development.