The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Air Traffic Management Specialist D3 Rebrands as Skyroads

D3 Technologies is rebranding itself as Skyroads to more clearly reflect its development of air traffic management systems to support advanced air mobility from 2023. The start-up also this week said that in September it demonstrated the prototype for its integrated urban air traffic management system at Tannheim, near Munich.

The technology is intended to support operations by large drones and eVTOL aircraft. It has partnerships in place with Italian air taxi start-up Walle Mobility, which intends to operate Jaunt Journey eVTOLs, as well as with eVTOL developer Manta Aircraft, Flynow Aviation, CAPS, Deep Blue Aviation, Amazilia Aerospace, Varon Vehicles, and the Technical University of Munich’s Institute of Flight System Dynamics.

The UTM System prototype consists of an air-to-ground communications system, which the company refers to as a blue box, that communicates via a cellular network with both the aircraft’s flight control computer and a ground system. The ground system plans routes, supported by what Skyroads calls a "map utility" function that acts as a user interface for entering flight data.

The latest demonstration also showed how the system can automatically assign alternative landing pads to take account of operational contingencies or emergencies. The equipment uses the Skyroads Data Hub, which is accessed by both the ground- and airborne units.

In 2020, the company raised €2.9 million ($3.5 million) in a Seed II funding round. The fresh capital came from investors including Vector Venture Capital, SEK Ventures, EIT KIC Urban Mobility (part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology), and Mutschler Ventures. Skyroads is now planning a Series A funding round to support further development work.

In 2022, Skyroads plans to expand prototype testing in a new larger flight test area in southern Germany. The company said it will collaborate with several vehicle developers to evaluate navigation systems in this new location, where they can conduct beyond line of sight flights and with the capability to fly multiple aircraft alongside each other.

“Since our founding in 2019, we have been working on roads in the sky as D3 Technologies,” said co-founder and CEO Corvin Huber. “Our team of top engineers and business developers realized product development milestones well ahead of schedule and has built valuable strategic partnerships. With the new name Skyroads, our upcoming growth can utilize a brand identity that reflects the fundamental need for and aspiration of our technology for urban mobility.”