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Potential Urban Air Mobility Travel Time Savings: An Exploratory Analysis of Munich, Paris, and San Francisco

Raoul Rothfeld (), Mengying Fu (), Miloš Balać () and Constantinos Antoniou ()
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Raoul Rothfeld: Technical University of Munich, Chair of Transportation Systems Engineering, 80333 Munich, Germany
Mengying Fu: Bauhaus Luftfahrt e.V., Economics and Transportation, 82024 Taufkirchen, Germany
Miloš Balać: ETH Zürich, Institute for Transport Planning and Systems, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Constantinos Antoniou: Technical University of Munich, Chair of Transportation Systems Engineering, 80333 Munich, Germany

Sustainability, 2021, vol. 13, issue 4, 1-20

Abstract: The advent of electrified, distributed propulsion in vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft promises aerial passenger transport within, into, or out of urban areas. Urban air mobility (UAM), i.e., the on-demand concept that utilizes eVTOL aircraft, might substantially reduce travel times when compared to ground-based transportation. Trips of three, pre-existent, and calibrated agent-based transport scenarios (Munich Metropolitan Region, Île-de-France, and San Francisco Bay Area) have been routed using the UAM-extension for the multi-agent transport simulation (MATSim) to calculate congested trip travel times for each trip’s original mode—i.e., car or public transport (PT)—and UAM. The resulting travel times are compared and allow the deduction of potential UAM trip shares under varying UAM properties, such as the number of stations, total process time, and cruise flight speed. Under base-case conditions, the share of motorized trips for which UAM would reduce the travel times ranges between 3% and 13% across the three scenarios. Process times and number of stations heavily influence these potential shares, where the vast majority of UAM trips would be below 50 km in range. Compared to car usage, UAM’s (base case) travel times are estimated to be competitive beyond the range of a 50-minute car ride and are less than half as much influenced by congestion.

Keywords: urban aerial passenger transport; eVTOL; agent-based modeling; MATSim; motorized trip share (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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