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Roadmap toward Air Mobility Revolution Formulated

Release of conceptual video and pictures depicting a future society where flying vehicles have become the norm

December 20, 2018

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) jointly launched a Public-Private Conference for Future Air Mobility Revolution bringing together stakeholders in the public and private sectors to realize “flying vehicles” in Japan. On December 20 (Thur.), 2018, the conference held the fourth meeting and formulated the discussion results into a roadmap.

1. Background and purpose

Stakeholders in a variety of fields have been embarking on development of “flying vehicles,” by designing a variety of concepts on expected uses of such vehicles, including: for relieving traffic congestion in commuting to offices and schools in cities, as a new mobility means for people living on islands or in mountains, and for carrying patients for emergency first aid and quickly transporting goods in case of disasters.

Japan considers it important to specify these concepts and develop them into new domestic services. To this end, it is significant for the public sector to: take into consideration the future concepts and perspectives of technology development in the private sector as a base; timely and appropriately support the private sector in advancing their industrial efforts; and consistently advance development of rules that society will accept.

In August 2018, METI and MLIT jointly launched a Public-Private Conference for Future Air Mobility and on December 20 (Thur.), 2018, the conference held the fourth meeting and formulated the roadmap based on their discussion results.

2. Roadmap toward Air Mobility Revolution

The roadmap sets temporal goals that stakeholders may achieve toward practical use of flying vehicles. In particular, the roadmap defines that businesses are to start test flights, demonstrative experiments and other relating efforts in 2019, embark on commercialization of flying vehicles in the mid-2020s, in particular 2023 as a goal, and further expand the commercialization from the 2030s.

The roadmap also presents use examples of flying vehicles, such as transportation of goods, mobility of people in rural areas, and mobility of people in urbanized areas, as well as expected uses of such vehicles in certain cases, for example, disasters response, emergency first aid, and leisure. To achieve these goals, the roadmap further explains future steps involving: development of regulations and standards for defining safety of vehicles and proving technological quality; development of technologies that ensure and prove safeness and reliability; and development of technologies for autonomous flight, flight operation control and electric propulsion.

3. Conceptual video clip and pictures

Conceptual video clip titled “Let’s drive in the sky”

Conceptual pictures

Division in Charge

Policy Planning and Coordination Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau