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Uber Reveals Skyport Proposals

Friday, June 1, 2018

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In order to plan for the future demands of transportation infrastructure, Uber recently revealed six Skyport proposals at its second annual Elevate conference. These selections were reportedly chosen based on their "high degree of realism and technical feasibility.”

Skyports will act as hubs for a fleet of electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL), which Uber plans to begin testing in 2020.

Project Briefs

The ports are meant for popular city locations, such as stadiums and concert halls. Each port would operate in a three-acre space and be capable of handling 4,000 passengers an hour, while also providing charging stations for eVTOLs.

 

  • American engineering firm Gannett Fleming proposed what it dubbed “The Paw”—a design that supports 52 eVTOLs per hour, per module, operating within a scalable framework that would allow for 600 arrivals and departures per hour. Energy for charging the vehicles would come from transparent concrete equipped with photovoltaics.
     
  • Connecticut architecture studio Pickard Chilton and engineering firm Arup proposed the Sky Tower, a skyport created by building up a module that allows for 180 takeoffs and landings per hour. The modular system would allow for different arrangements, depending on the location.
     
  • Connect, by US architecture and design firm Corgan, also implemented a modular design, using irregularly shaped pods that could work together to form a landing and take-off pad. The modules could also be stacked on top of one another. The skyport would be equipped with a flight deck, a station and a public plaza along the base that could be integrated with existing city infrastructure.
     
  • Architecture firm Humphreys & Partners presented the Uber Hover—a white, rounded structure punctured with entrances that allows cars access capable of accommodating 900 passengers per level, per hour, using sustainable materials.
     
  • U.S. architecture firm BOKA Powell’s design referenced the "dynamics of flight" by staggering landing stations along the proposed diagonal Skyport frame. The structure is also flexible in order to adapt to changes in the wind.

In the future, UberAIR will function similarly to the company’s current app. Testing for the service is expected to begin in Los Angeles in 2020.

“While uberAIR might feel like a far away dream, it’s closer than you think and urban infrastructure has to start to evolve now to keep up,” said John Badalamenti, Uber’s head of design for advanced programs and aviation.

   

Tagged categories: Color + Design; Design; Infrastructure; Project Management; Urban Planning

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