Modeling and Evaluating Multimodal Urban Air Mobility

Traffic congestion has been one of the leading issues around the world. The emerging concept urban air mobility (UAM) is expected to provide a new solution by making use of the three-dimensional airspace to transport passengers and goods in urban areas. UAM application is based on a new type of electric aircraft that is enabled to take off and land vertically (eVTOL) and embedded with advanced autonomous and distributed propulsion technology. Compared to traditional aircraft like helicopters, eVTOL will provide safer, more efficient, and quieter air transportation service in urban areas. One of the greatest identified challenges for UAM application is to build well-distributed infrastructures to support eVTOL aircraft operations. Those infrastructures are vertiports (or skyports), where eVTOL aircrafts takeoff and land, onboard or disembark passengers, and get charged. On the one hand, dense land use in urban areas, aircraft operation requirements and community acceptance among many other factors severely restrict the number of vertiports and make it impossible to provide door-todoor (DtD) services through pure air transportation. On the other hand, vertiport locations should be carefully selected with consideration of its impact on potential UAM demand and system performance. In this project, we plan to develop mathematical models to design operation network for on-demand UAM service. Specifically, we solve the problem of vertiport optimal location identification and user allocation to vertiports with consideration of interactions between vertiport locations and potential UAM travel demand. We will also incorporate performance uncertainty of transportation network into consideration and extend the static model to stochastic programming. A case study based on the Tampa Bay area will be conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed models.


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $264389
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:


    Washington DC,   United States 
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of South Florida, Tampa

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    4202 E. Flowler Avenue, ENB 118
    Tampa, FL  United States  33620-5350
  • Principal Investigators:

    Zhang, Yu

  • Start Date: 20191001
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210930
  • Actual Completion Date: 20210930
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01714329
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747119
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Aug 20 2019 12:46PM