Ecole Polytechnique is teaming up with Uber to create the International Academic and Research Chair “Integrated Urban Mobility”.
The Chair’s projects, started in 2019, include modeling transport demand based on machine learning, simulations of dense low-altitude air traffic management, the integration of innovative air transport solutions in conjunction with regulators, and the development of smart grids to power future electric air and land transport fleets. The Chair also include rendering realistic flight simulations (varying the weather conditions or time-of-day), and studying the social acceptance of such alternative transportation means.
To this end, researchers from the LIX (Ecole Polytechnique’s Computer Science Laboratory) will closely collaborate with the Advanced Technologies Center of Paris (ATCP), Uber’s first European R&D center, launched in 2018.
About Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center Paris
Uber’s new Advanced Technologies Center in Paris will be Uber’s first research and development hub outside of North America. Over the next five years, the company will be investing over €20M into developing new technologies, with an initial focus on Uber Elevate.
ATCP will open will be looking to hire top engineering, machine learning, and computer vision talent. Research will focus capabilities across airspace management, autonomy, real-time communication networks, energy storage, and charging systems.
Initially ATCP will focus on artificial intelligence and airspace management systems to support urban aviation at scale. This will be key to achieving our goal of uberAIR demonstrator flights in Dallas and Los Angeles and a third international city by 2020.
ATCP will also work with city planners, policymakers and regulators across Europe to research and model the electrification infrastructure for future electric transportation.
About Uber Elevate
Uber launched its Elevate program in October 2016 with the publication of the first White Paper on Urban Air Mobility. Since then it has entered into partnerships with experienced aircraft manufacturers who are developing electric VTOL vehicles including: Embraer, Bell, Aurora Flight Sciences (now a subsidiary of Boeing), Pipistrel Aircraft and Karem. Uber’s design model specifies that these fully electric vehicle have a cruising speed between 150-200 mph, a cruising altitude of 1000-2000 feet and be able to do trips of up to 60 miles on a single charge. You can see Uber’s video of the uberAIR experience here.
Last year, Uber announced its intention to launch flight demonstrations of uberAIR in Dallas-Fort Worth/Frisco Texas and Los Angeles in 2020 and commercially available trips by 2023. To help create Skyports for the uberAIR network, Uber has also entered into real estate partnerships with Hillwood Properties and Sandstone Properties.
At the 2018 Elevate Summit, Uber announced an Space Act with NASA to focus on traffic management technologies and the impacts of urban air mobility (UAM). The company is also collaborating with E-One Moli to produce lithium ion battery packs for vehicles and has signed a Joint Work Statement with the U.S. Army to develop on rotor propellor technology.
Uber has recently announced an open call for a third international launch city – more details here.
About Ecole Polytechnique
École Polytechnique, also known as L’X, is the leading French institution combining top-level research, academics, and innovation at the cutting-edge of science and technology. Its various undergraduate and graduate-level programs – Bachelor of Science, Ingénieur Polytechnicien (Master’s level program), Master’s, and PhD – are highly selective and promote a culture of excellence with a strong emphasis on science, anchored in humanist traditions. As a widely internationalized university, École Polytechnique offers a variety of international programs and attracts a growing number of foreign students and researchers from around the globe (currently 40% of students and 39% of faculty members).
École Polytechnique offers an exceptional education to prepare bright men and women to excel in top-level key positions and lead complex and innovative projects which meet the challenges of 21st century society, all while maintaining a keen sense of their civil and social responsibilities. With its 23 laboratories, 22 of which are joint research units with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the École Polytechnique Research Center explores the frontiers of interdisciplinary knowledge to provide major contributions to science, technology, and society. École Polytechnique is a founding member of Institut Polytechnique de Paris.