Uber targets Paris, France as UTM test bed

Uber plans to open an Uber Elevate research station in Paris where its researchers will spend US$23.4 million over the next five year researching how to navigate air traffic and comply with European regulations.
The centre will be Uber’s first research and development hub outside of North America will initially focus on Uber Elevate. The Elevate programme was launched in 2016 to build a network of all-electric, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft powered by distributed electric propulsion.
“This begins with building artificial intelligence and airspace management systems to support uberAIR at scale, which will be key to achieving our goal of demonstration flights in Dallas, Los Angeles, and a third, international city by 2020,” it said.
It said it planned to open the centre this autumn and will be looking to hire top engineering, machine learning, and computer vision talent. Research will focus on capabilities across airspace management, autonomy, real-time communication networks, energy storage, and charging systems.
It is also launching a five-year research partnership with École polytechnique and a commitment to endow the first International Academic and Research Chair of “Integrated Urban Mobility”.
The Chair will collaborate with the centre on research across artificial intelligence, aviation and all-electric transport. Initial projects will include: machine learning-based transport demand modeling, high-density low-altitude air traffic management simulations, integration of innovative airspace transport solutions with European aviation regulators such as EASA, and the development of smart grids to support future fleets of electric transport on the ground and in the air.

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“Delivering on our bold aspirations for the future will require working together with the best and brightest minds,” it said.