Urban Surface and Air Mobility

In recent years, technological advances with connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) have opened new opportunities to increase both efficiency and safety. Also, the emergence of wireless communications and advanced video and LIDAR sensing technologies has led to the development of flying vehicles (FVs), which promise to enable unmanned FVs of the future.  

Urban Surface and Air Mobility (without Connected Vehicles) Traffic Control 

The novel concept is named Urban Surface and Air Mobility (USaAM), which is based on a simple, yet futuristic, concept of a single vehicle being used for both flying and driving operations. We further propose to regulate the use of FVs in the same way that the FAA regulates long-distance flights: we use certain urban corridors (unobstructed and wide enough) as the take-off/landing segments of the urban flight routes. Additionally, we introduce a limited number of Street Flight Levels (SFLs) to handle the vertical separation of potentially conflicting FVs and propose unified traffic management of the surface and airborne traffic that will enable the integration of FVs with regular surface traffic. 

Reservation-based Connected Vehicles Urban Surface and Air Mobility Traffic Control (RB-CV-USaAM) 

In this project, we propose integrating FVs into the existing road infrastructure and surface traffic through a reservation-based Connected Vehicle (CV) traffic control system, aiming to enhance travel time for high-priority FV vehicles.  Here we introduced high-level communication FVs operations manager (FVOM), which facilitates communication between FVs and CV surface vehicles to further improve experience (and reduce delays) for FVs. Furthermore, FVs are given priority over surface vehicles, since they are assumed to be mainly high-priority vehicles. 

The following videos show the simulation of three RB-CV-USaAM scenarios (in a generic three-intersection network). 

A – Moderate Surface Traffic and Low % FV 

B – Moderate Surface Traffic and Moderate % FV 

C - Moderate Surface Traffic and High % FV