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École Polytechnique launches “Integrated Urban Mobility” aviation programme with @Uber

Photo: Uber

Today (25 May), Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi announced a new collaboration project with École Polytechnique to endow the International Academic and Research Chair “Integrated Urban Mobility”. This follows the launch of Uber’s newest Advanced Technologies Center (ATCP) to be based in Paris.

This collaboration includes the creation of the International Academic and Research Chair “Integrated Urban Mobility” and the opportunity to develop research contracts on specific topics. For example, researchers from École Polytechnique’s computer lab will collaborate with ATCP on a series of research projects in optimization and artificial intelligence on issues around aviation and all-electric transport.

Initial projects will include: machine learning-based transport demand modeling, high-density low-altitude air traffic management simulations, integration of innovative airspace transport solutions with European aviation regulators such as EASA and the development of smart grids to support future fleets of electric on the ground and in the air transport.

As part of the AI for Humanity strategy announced by President Emmanuel Macron on March 29, École Polytechnique is a founding member of the DATAIA Institute where it aims at convening industry and government partners across the European Union.

Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, commented:

“Building the future of our cities will require the best and brightest minds working together. With world-class engineers and a leading role in global aviation, France is the perfect place to advance our Uber Elevate program and new technology initiatives. We’re excited to partner with École Polytechnique to shape the future of urban mobility, on the ground and in the air.”

École Polytechnique’s President, Jacques Biot, explained:

“We are thrilled and happy to address jointly with Uber a major challenge faced by cities in the future. To design novel autonomous three-dimensional transportation systems, build intelligent networks to implement them and make them acceptable by society, l’X will mobilize its pluridisciplinary research center and will, via this chair, contribute to the education of new talents to serve mobility industry and services.”

Eric Allison, Head of Aviation Programs, said:

“Delivering on our bold aspirations for the future will require working together with the best and brightest minds. As an institution at the cutting-edge of science and technology we are excited to work with École polytechnique to take urban mobility forward. Together we’ll work towards a future where anyone can get a flight at the push of a button.”

About Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center Paris: Uber’s new Advanced Technologies Center in Paris will be Uber’s first research and development hub outside of North America. Over the next five years, the company will be investing over €20M into developing new technologies, with an initial focus on Uber Elevate. Uber originally launched their Elevate program in 2016 to build a network of all-electric, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft powered by distributed electric propulsion.

ATCP will open will be looking to hire top engineering, machine learning, and computer vision talent. Research will focus capabilities across airspace management, autonomy, real-time communication networks, energy storage, and charging systems.

Initially ATCP will focus on artificial intelligence and airspace management systems to support urban aviation at scale. This will be key to achieving our goal of uberAIR demonstrator flights in Dallas and Los Angeles and a third international city by 2020.

ATCP will also work with city planners, policymakers and regulators across Europe to research and model the electrification infrastructure for future electric transportation.

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