Urban Air Mobility -
Mobility in the 3rd dimension
Ingolstadt region pioneering mobility solutions for inter-urban connectivity
Munich/Ingolstadt | The experts agree: Anyone wanting to plan the future of urban transport needs to find new pathways. The use of airspace, the "3rd dimension", is one of them. Air mobility (e.g. flying vehicles), as a means of transport, may provide a new, effective form of mobility.
With its "Urban Air Mobility" (UAM) Initiative, the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC), which is supported by the European Comission, aims to bring together cities, citizens, businesses and other stakeholders in order to accelerate practical application studies and their consequent implementation. The initiative is led by Airbus, while institutional partners include Eurocontrol and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As part of its digitisation strategy, the city council of Ingolstadt unanimously decided back in February that it would be ready to be a pilot city for demonstrating various forms of digital mobility. Together with federal and state governments, industrial and research parties, it has been agreed to participate in the UAM Initiative of the EIP-SCC.
"Ingolstadt is always ready to try out promising technology for improving the quality of its citizens! A pilot scheme for air taxis for passengers, ill people or organ transportation is the perfect fit for us, and increases our profile as a national centre for pioneering digital and autonomous mobility. We are thus once again underlining our claim that we are a leading site for industry, research and development. I wish to emphasize that these air taxis are aimed to enhance public transport network and not to replace it per se; the citizens will be actively engaged in the feasibility studies and all interests of the citizens, regarding safety and prevention of noise must be observed."
Dr. Christian Lösel, Mayor of Ingolstadt
Today, in the presence of Mr Joachim Menze (Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Munich) the Manifesto of Intent has been formally signed in Munich at the Ministry of Economy, by Mr Franz Josef Pschierer (Bavarian Minister of Economy, Energy and Technology), Dr. Marion Kiechle (Bavarian Minister of Science and Art), Gerhard Eck (State Secretary for the Interior and Integration), Josef Zellmeier (State Secretary for Housing, Building and Transport), Dr. Christian Lösel (Mayor of Ingolstadt), Martin Wolf (District Administrator Landkreis Pfaffenhofen), Anton Knapp (District Administrator Landkreis Eichstätt), Roland Weigert (District Administrator Landkreis Neuburg-Schrobenhausen), Dr. Vassilis Agouridas (EIP-SCC UAM Initiative Leader (Airbus)), and Mr Munish Khurana (Eurocontrol) among other institutional, industrial and research stakeholders.
Other partners who have signed and support the "Manifesto of Intent” are the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Airbus, Audi, the Munich Airport, the Fraunhofer-Anwendungszentrum, Bauhaus Luftfahrt, the Ingolstadt Klinikum, the Technical University Ingolstadt and the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt.
As a result, the city of Ingolstadt, together with its initial and future welcomed partners, is actively engaging to define an innovative urban mobility model featuring a diversity of air taxi applications and operations. Ingolstadt has the advantage of its central location. All the large Bavarian cities are located within a 100-km radius of the city, and are thus within the range of air taxis. In addition to the flight routes within the city and the region, this central vicinity to other major cities is an important criterion for enabling inter-urban connectivity. In the model phase, air taxis and their benefits to citizens will be evaluated in the areas of passenger transport, rescue services and public security.
Ingolstadt and the surrounding region are increasingly noted as a centre for autonomous and digital mobility. In addition to the industrial presence of Audi AG and Airbus, the Technical University has distinguished itself in its core area of mobility (automobiles and aviation), and through research areas in the field of new mobility concepts. “brigk” (the new “digital accelerator”), the upcoming Fraunhofer Institute and other partners, have formed a centre of excellence for autonomous and digital mobility and artistic intelligence.
Major stakeholders have already expressed their support to this mobility innovation endeavour led by the city of Ingolstadt:
"I am pleased that Ingolstadt wants to take on a pioneering role and promote this highly innovative area. The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs is actively supporting this project and believes in it! In this way, we’ll be able to secure our position as one of the most important and most traditional aerospace locations in terms of industry and research. In doing so, Bavaria is once again proving itself to be at the forefront when it comes to pressing ahead with transport options – not only in Germany but also in the European context –, even in the third dimension, namely in the air."
Franz Josef Pschierer, Bavarian Minister of Economy, Energy and Technology
“I’m pleased that Ingolstadt, as an industrial and university hub, is breaking new ground with a pilot project for air taxis. Bavaria leads the way in the research and development of cutting-edge technology of tomorrow. To live up to this claim, brave, creative solutions to the challenges of the 21st century are needed. The traffic routes of the future will be developed and designed in Ingolstadt. This is innovation: live!”
Dr. Marion Kiechle, Bavarian Minister of Science and Art
“Bavaria is the right location for developing new mobility concepts. Air taxis are capable of making an important contribution to the overall spectrum of future transport systems for people and goods. One of the big questions for the future will also be about safely integrating air taxis into heavily used airspace. The Bavarian State Ministry for Housing, Building and Transport will support the necessary processes to the best of its ability."
Josef Zellmeier, State Secretary for Housing, Building and Transport
“I do not know if the cars of the future will actually fly, but I want them to be developed and built in Ingolstadt. The course has now been set. For this reason, we have worked hard over the last few weeks to forge an alliance to position the Ingolstadt region as a research and development hub for the future of mobility in Europe.”
Dr. Reinhard Brandl, Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestags
“We are a district that has historically (and to this day) been heavily influenced by vehicle mobility and aircraft-oriented sites. The result is a special mission to address future challenges and mobility issues.”
District Administrator Martin Wolf, District Pfaffenhofen
“I see urban air mobility – the use of the "third dimension" – as a real opportunity to tackle many of the challenges around transport and mobility in the long term. The lowering of emissions, especially in conurbations, the reduction of land use for traffic routes and an even faster ambulance service in emergencies are just a few of the advantages that this project offers. I welcome this initiative from the city of Ingolstadt and look forward to seeing the findings we’ll be gathering together.”
District Administrator Roland Weigert, District Neuburg-Schrobenhausen
“The Eichstätt district is always open to new technological developments and supports mobility in the 3rd dimension, in line with its motto - based on regional cooperation - ´Ambitious spirit in quality of life and training´”.
District Administrator Anton Knapp, District Eichstätt
"As a university with a focus on digitisation and mobility, we are convinced that innovative mobility concepts in the airspace have potential for the future. We are therefore delighted to be able to offer scientific support to the “Air Taxi Ingolstadt Plus" project. Our skills in the areas of aeronautics research and mobility management mean we can contribute to the success of the project, both from a technical and an economic point of view."
Prof. Dr. Walter Schober, President of the Technical University Ingolstadt
“The Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt is already addressing societal, psychological and ethical issues around mobility. When researching individual means of transport, we will bring in expertise when it comes to questions of citizen participation and acceptance of new technologies.”
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien, President of the Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt
The date and venue of the Kick-Off Workshop as well as registration details will be announced soon at https://www.ingolstadt.de/UAM
Further information on the Urban Air Mobility Initiative: