Uber (https://www.uber.com/newsroom/building-ubers-future-in-france/) has announced it will build a EUR 20 million Advanced Technologies Centre in Paris, its first research and development hub outside of North America, to developing new technologies in artificial intelligence and airspace management systems to support its uberAIR project.
The company launched its Elevate program in 2016 to build a network of all-electric, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft powered by distributed electric propulsion, with a target of achieving demonstration flights in Dallas, Los Angeles and Paris in 2020.
According to a company news blog “Today we’re committing to a new Advanced Technologies Center which will initially focus on Uber Elevate. France is a perfect home for our next step forward with its strong history of research and development, world-class engineers and a unique role in aviation worldwide. ATCP will open 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.To meet future energy demands, ATCP will also work with European city planners and regulators to model infrastructure needs for electrified transportation.”
The company has announced 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 ATCP on research across artificial intelligence, aviation and all-electric transport. Initial projects will include: machine learning-based transport demand modelling, 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.