Air traffic management specialist Skyroads is backing Hyundai’s efforts to develop an airspace operating environment for advanced air mobility (AAM) services. The German start-up this week announced that it is joining the Airspace Management Consortium set up by Supernal, which is the new name for the Korean automaker’s eVTOL aircraft division.
The consortium was established in June and, according to Supernal, is intended as a resource for AAM companies and policymakers to “shape common operating and design standards that support industry development.” According to Supernal, it will collaborate with consortium members to simulate traffic management for autonomous aircraft, as it steps up development of its SA-1 eVTOL aircraft, for which it aims to start the FAA type certification process in 2024.
Skyroads, which until recently was called D3 Technologies, is developing a prototype for an integrated urban air traffic management system at Tannheim, near Munich. This consists of an air-to-ground communications system 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 the company calls a "map utility" function that acts as a user interface for entering flight data. In 2022, it intends to expand the scope for testing this combination of hardware and software, which it says is based on AAM system-wide information management and “positive deterministic” control.
“The development of Skyroads is based on a philosophy of interoperability,” said the company’s chief commercial officer Achim Kostron. “The system’s openness as well as its design assurance level of aviation [technology] is a prerequisite for the intermodal urban air mobility ecosystem that professional AAM manufacturers like Supernal are asking for.”
Skyroads, which was formed in 2019, already has a partnership established 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. It is now preparing for a Series A funding round.