Amsterdam Drone Week opened this morning, and urban air mobility (UAM) – usually treated as an edge case, somewhere far in the future – took center stage.
Philip Butterworth Hayes, the editor of Urban Air Mobility News, appropriately kicked things off: creating a vision not only of a world where drones provide an integral part of urban transportation systems – but where humans and robots establish a working relationship.
“What do we want to achieve this week?” asked Hayes. “We need to achieve a closer understanding of the drone market and its potential, both in the short and long term.” If that isn’t enough of a challenge, Hayes says that Urban Air Mobility is nothing short of a revolution. UAM represents a complete change in thinking for cities. “We’re creating a new transportation ecosystem,” says Hayes. “The last time we did that was in 1945, when we started the commercial aviation industry.”
“This is even more challenging – we are at the edge of a new industrial revolution,” says Hayes. The development and use of UAM technology will help define how unmanned systems are used and integrated into people’s everyday lives, and the results may echo for generations. The challenges of integrating drones safely into the airspace while both serving and protecting communities is a huge undertaking – one that requires both policymakers and technology providers. “This is a real social and industrial revolution,” Hayes says. “There’s a lot at stake… Amsterdam Drone Week is going to be a real milestone in this process.”
Paul Riemens, CEO of the RAI Amsterdam and the creator of Amsterdam Drone Week, joined Lisa Murray of Diversified Communications to announce their new partnership, beginning in 2020. Next year, Amsterdam Drone Week and Commercial UAV Expo Europe will colocate with Amsterdam Drone Week at the RAI, bringing what’s possible right now with commercial UAVS to the floor with tomorrow’s new ideas. Amsterdam Drone Week will host a UAM summit at Commercial UAV Americas – the commercial drone industry’s biggest show – in Las Vegas next year. “We’re bringing the whole ecosystem together,” says Murray. “We can have a complete conversation.”