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Public acceptance of urban air mobility: new research to understand scientific basis for attitudes

The SESAR-backed ImAFUSA programme – a project seeking to develop a scientific basis for understanding societal reactions to urban air mobility programme – has launched a website in which it will publish the key results of its research.

“The project goal is to deliver a framework that will help Local Authorities and other U-space stakeholders and users with the delivery of socially acceptable and beneficial UAM deployment in cities,” said the programme description. “The mission of ImAFUSA is to provide insights in three major areas influencing societal acceptance. Environmental impact which includes, noise, visual pollution and air quality, safety and socioeconomic impact which includes, affordability, accessibility, economic development, public space use and connectivity.

“In order to measure the above, ImAFUSA will develop mathematical formulas and algorithms in order to quantify innovative performance indicators, which will contribute to the designation of Sustainable Urban Air Mobility Indicators (SUAMI). This will allow stakeholders to make more informed, responsible, sustainable and socially accepted decisions and establish Europe as an international leader in sustainable aviation.

“ImAFUSA is driven by UAM technology potential, oriented towards citizen-centred U-space utilisation. At the same time, it is focusing on the delivery of tools for UAM decision-makers to assess the impact of UAM in their regions and their associated U-space capacity.”

More granular objectives are:

  • Set a data-driven and citizen-inclusive framework for the impact and capacity assessment of UAM in the urban context, in order to assist decision and policy-making of city stakeholders, as part of strategic UAM planning.
  • Provide decision-makers with methods that can quantify the environmental, safety, societal and economic impact of UAM.
  • Map current practices, performance areas and related indicators used in aviation impact and capacity assessment to identify transferable best practices.
  • Designate innovative KPIs that address UAM impact on the environment, the society and the economy and prepare the integration of the holistic impact and capacity assessment framework with a set of algorithms that will encompass all the indicators.
  • Provide insights on the main barriers of UAM acceptance currently identified through the data collection from citizens with immersive experiences, in order to decompose citizens ́ perspectives on noise, ground safety and visual pollution.
  • Address social perception of safety and visual pollution through a virtual reality environment.
  • Measure the cost efficiency of UAM city applications in conjunction with the societal, environmental impacts and trade offs.
  • Identification of the importance of criteria to be used in trajectory multiobjective optimization.
  • Provide insights and tools for UAM infrastructure development.
  • Validate the ImAFUSA framework and and tools in a simulation environment that will virtualise future U- space use scenarios of real use cases developed by our city partner.

“ImAFUSA will deliver at least three demonstration case studies, to be carried out in three. different urban areas, in which citizens will be exposed to real-time UAM demonstrations. Citizens’ experiences will provide feedback on noise safety and visual pollution.”

The ImAFUSA consortium brings together eight partners and a four-member Advisory Board from seven countries (Greece, Portugal, Sweden, Cyprus, Czechia, Netherlands, UK).

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