LFV runs research regarding drone services

Published: 10 March 2020 13:23

The research regarding air traffic controls of drones moves forward. In February, LFV along with several stakeholders visited Dubai for the third time to take unified steps forward in developing the possibilities for urban drone services.

LFV and Linköping University have since a few years back been running three research projects together with the Sharjah University in United Arab Emirates. One of the projects is called "Dubai UTM" in which also SAAB contributes with technical expertise. VINNOVA is funding the project which concerns visualizing, communicating and showing the expected effects from extensive drone traffic in urban environment.

– We have a simulation tool where we add maps, buildings and roads. We may also add different types of services such as passenger transport, courier deliveries and surveillance to find out the effect of drone services on for example security, says Billy Josefsson, LFV research and innovation department. An important parameter is to use the air space correctly to make the drone traffic as efficient as possible. Dubai has very high ambitions regarding drones and considers both food- and parcel deliveries as well as taxi operations.

During the visit to Dubai an intense three-day workshop was held where concerned authorities and service companies were able to explore future scenarios regarding passenger transports, special area surveillance and different types of deliveries. Participating in the workshop were the project manager of Dubai Airtaxi, urban planners, the leading freight- and delivery company, the supervisory authority and the transport administration of Dubai.

– A drone taxi test is planned for October, says Anders Carlsson, head of Bromma Control Tower, one of LFV’s representatives in Dubai. During this test a pilot will admittedly be onboard, but they want to show us the possibilities. It’s an enormous development taking place down there!

– They are really eager to make use of the possibilities with drone services. Among other things we evaluated “airtaxi” from the airport to the World Exhibition Expo 2020 which will be inaugurated this autumn, Carlsson continues.

The tool, developed by Linköping University, is interactive and makes it possible for free thinking around drone services and to screen the possibilities, fears, challenges, needs for investment and so on. The tool was initially developed with the city of Norrköping as test area. Now, with the help from Dubai UTM project, the tool has developed further and other Swedish market players will benefit from it as well.

– The technology and knowledge we accomplish together will be brought home to benefit Sweden, for example within UTM and in our research on extended automation, Josefsson says. Without the input from Dubai we wouldn’t have gotten this far. What happens in Dubai will also happen in Sweden in a couple of years. When that day comes, LFV will be well equipped to contribute in an efficient manner.

From left to right: Dubai Air Taxi project manager; Anders Carlsson, LFV; Dubai city planner; Billy Josefsson, LFV and Dr. Imad.