Commercial UAV Expo Europe  

September 3-5, 2024  •  Caesars Forum  •  Las Vegas

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Roundtable Discussions

Roundtable Discussion Topics

While aircraft is being worked on, how do we build the rest of the infrastructure it’s going to take, the vertiports, air management, everything that makes this “future” transportation a reality? In this roundtable discussion, participants will examine what infrastructure, both digital and physical, it will take to support safe, affordable, sustainable flights for the future. Examine why infrastructure has to become the focus for investment with topics including:

Standardization: At scale, no one entity is going to own the land, the vertiport, the aircraft – how do we drive standardization and ensure interoperability for all of this to work? Whether cargo or passenger, how do we standardize technology, assets, digital footprint, physical design to build hubs of operation?

Energy Requirements: What will this look like 10 years, 20 years from now? How can we predict the usage required both on-grid and off-grid (hydrogen)?

Digital Infrastructure: UTM, cybersecurity, digital information sharing – how do we connect all of these so multiple aircraft can be safely in the airspace at the same time? What does a “system of systems” with ubiquitous data sharing look like?

Getting involved in this ecosystem in order to bring this to scale will take time, significant effort and bringing key stakeholders together to make it happen. It’s a large undertaking and capital-intensive to build the infrastructure, buy the land, get planning permission which is why working in partnership is absolutely vital. Participants will discuss why bringing stakeholders from private, government and academia together is so important.

Collaboration: the aircraft is the flashy, recognizable element in AAM but there has to be a place to land/take off, charge, maintain, allow for on/offboarding of passengers or cargo – how can you work with the “right” entities, public and private, to develop the market to get it moving in the right direction? What level of collaboration between OEMs, software developers, regulators will there need to be in order for this industry to progress?

Public Acceptance: creating technology is not the hard part anymore but rather gaining the public’s trust. How do you grow public acceptance?  How do you scale it?

Partnerships: This won’t happen overnight. How do you strategically approach this? Learn from private/public partnerships who are already working together, creating models and blueprints ready to be adopted around the world.

Using drones to quickly get eyes on the scene, deliver medical supplies and other necessities to disaster sites and hazardous areas is being executed in use-case scenarios. Equipping first responders with UAV technology can allow for earlier intervention and more rapid execution, providing a different, or additional, vantage point to the scenario. How can this application be scaled for agencies across the globe and what lessons can be applied to other facets of AAM?

Scalability: Emergency and medical response demonstrations have been executed around the world, how do we create and communicate a model that can be adopted by health officials and emergency responders on a regular basis?

Public Acceptance: Urgent medical supply drone deliveries have been viewed as one path for starting to gain public acceptance for general drone delivery. How can the UAM/AAM industry lean into this opportunity, of gaining public acceptance, without muddling the drone-for-good efforts?

Safety: Incorporating UAVs into emergency response situation require air traffic management, onboarding tools and standards, and expanded communication to keep everyone aware of what’s happening in the sky and on the ground. What standards will allow first responders to integrate the technology safely?

The potential that drones have to streamline inventory management in warehouses and to map out the painting of a barge has long been understood, but the costs and technical challenges with doing so prevented many from moving forward with adoption. All of that has changed with drone innovations that can deliver accurate inventory straight into a WHS, perform material condition assessment inspections on the exterior of ships and cut back on expenses associated with surveillance at port facilities. What has it meant to enable these efficiencies? This roundtable discussion will pull together experts and users that have quantified the value of drone technology in various sectors. Participants will explore what it has meant to work through challenges that range from stakeholder buy-in to costs. It will detail:

Applications: How are drones being used to inspect port assets? What common supply chain management problems are drones solving? How have drones changed the way warehouse inventory checks are being performed?

Innovation: What sort of value have users created once they get their hands on the technology?

Challenges: Are the biggest challenges related to people, process or technology? What has it meant to work through each? Should adoption be driven from the top-down or bottom-up? What resonates most with stakeholders when it comes to quantifying the value of the technology?

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