Drones and Urban Air Mobility(UAM) are gaining momentum and the sector is expected to grow rapidly in the next two decades. However, a positive public perception of quiet, efficient, and safe UAV industry is key to the adoption of this novel mode of transportation. ImAFUSA, a recently launched research and innovation project, will quantify a variety of understudied factors that influence citizens’ perception of UAM in order to deliver a framework that will help Local Authorities and other U-space stakeholders and users with the delivery of a socially acceptable and beneficial UAM deployment in cities.
ImaFUSA (Impact and capacity Assessment Framework for U-space societal Acceptance) is a 30 month study that has received recognition and funding from the SESAR 3 Joint Undertaking and the Horizon Europe programme under the topic of HORIZON-SESAR-2022-DES-ER-01-WA1-3 - Fundamental Science and Outreach for U-space and Urban Air Mobility
Bringing together 8 renowned project partners supported by a 4-member Advisory Board of experts, the ImAFUSA initiative will facilitate the flow and co-creation of knowledge and 10 innovative tools between higher education (HEI), innovative SMEs, Local Authorities and National Aviation Authorities.
Unlocking crucial factors
ImAFUSA is pioneering the creation of mathematical formulas and algorithms to quantify innovative performance indicators, to unlock groundbreaking insights into three key areas that influence societal acceptance of UAM:
- Environmental Impact: Tackling issues such as noise, visual pollution, and air quality head-on.
- Safety: Ensuring that UAM becomes a synonym for safety, instilling confidence in every citizen.
- Socio Economic Impact: Making UAM accessible, affordable, and contributing to economic development while optimising public space use and connectivity.
“We did it “wrong” with cars, we did it “wrong” with planes, let’s do it “right” with drones”
Under this motto, the project will contribute to the designation of Sustainable Urban Air Mobility Indicators (SUAMI) empowering stakeholders to make more informed, responsible, sustainable and socially accepted decisions.
To do that, ImAFUSA will also be engaging directly with citizens through three immersive UAM experiences in Athens, Greece. Collecting valuable data on loudness, visual pollution, safety perceptions, and overall UAM acceptance, the project is on the pulse of public sentiment. The indicators developed will be further validated through a cutting-edge simulation environment, mimicking real-world U-space scenarios of varying volumes and configurations.
The project partners are proud to be part of this ambitious human-centred project and contribute to an era where UAM enhances sustainable mobility, elevates business performance, connects citizens, and triggers economic activity in urban and peri-urban areas.
The ImAFUSA project partners are:
● ISCTE- University Institute of Lisbon
● FN- FUTURE NEEDS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING LTD
● KTH - Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)
● TUD- Delft University of Technology (TUD)
● ICCS- Institute of communication and computer systems
● EGL - Municipality of Egaleo
● AFT- AgentFly Technologies s.r.o.
● USAL- University of Salford
The ImAFUSA project started in September 2023 and the kick-off meeting took place in October 2023. ImAFUSA ́s developments benefit a variety of stakeholders including Local Authorities, policy-makers, U-space service providers, ATM/UTM planners and operators, drone manufacturers, environmental agencies and citizens above all. Over the following months project news, publications and outputs will be available on the official project webpage at https://www.imafusa-sesar.eu and distributed via the project's social media channels on LinkedIn and X (formerly Twitter). For more on U-space, visit www.sesarju.eu.
Stay tuned as this project will establish Europe as an international leader in sustainable aviation!