Modeling the Environmental Impact of Urban Air Mobility: Case Study of Tampa Bay Region

Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is an emerging concept proposed in recent years that uses electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs), which is expected to offer an alternative way of transporting passengers and goods in urban areas with significantly improved mobility by making use of low-altitude airspace. Our previous study answered planning questions in terms of optimal vertiport locations and estimation of diverted demand from ground transportation by combining network design and travel mode choice models. Although eVTOLs generate zero air pollutant emissions during operations, the impact to the region will be dependent on the energy resources of local power companies while generating the electricity and if eVTOLs are operated efficiently to serve passengers. Thus, in this study, the research team will take Tampa Bay Region as theiir study case and model the environmental impact of UAM implementation. First, they will extend their previous study to identify optimal vetiport locations and estimate UAM demand for Tampa Bay Region, which include 4 counties in FDOT District 7 and 2 counties in District 1, by using state-wide census tract level travel demand data. The research team will then estimate the total operations of eVTOLs to serve the region. Third, the team will work with local power companies to understand their sources of electricity generation and calculate the greenhouse gas emissions for supporting the operation of eVTOLs. Fourth, the research team will use EPA MOVEs model to obtain the emission rates of CO₂, NOx, and VOC emission rates in the 6 counties and calculate the air pollutant emission changes caused by UAM. Lastly, the research team will apply scenario analysis to model the environmental impacts of UAM in Tampa Bay Region under different scenarios and apply sensitivity analysis to test how the parameters in the modeling will affect the research outcomes.

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $84641
  • Contract Numbers:

    69A3551747119

  • 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:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • 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: 20201001
  • Expected Completion Date: 20210930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01762324
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Center for Transportation, Environment, and Community Health
  • Contract Numbers: 69A3551747119
  • Files: UTC, RIP
  • Created Date: Jan 15 2021 9:38AM