Detect and recommend for accelerating the eVTOL integration throughout the UAM – Drones Information


An autonomous vehicle is defined as a vehicle that is able to grasp its surroundings and work without human intervention. That is, the vehicle is able to grasp the surroundings and make a decision based on its purpose and the data collected. Even if robust avoidance algorithms exist, certifying a sense and avoid solution for eVTOL would require a lot of time and money, either because the data collected by the sensors is not reliable for all flight conditions and environments, or because the task involves a high risk . In these cases, instead of acting upon detection, the vehicle suggests an evasive maneuver so that the operator / pilot can decide how to proceed. This technique is called “Recognize and Propose”.

Recognize and suggest in eVTOL

With autonomous vehicles, most can already work fully autonomously, although there must be a pilot on board who is responsible for driving. When converting to aircraft, a similar approach is required to facilitate the integration of eVTOL into UAM (Urban Air Mobility).

In this case, it is recognized and proposed. This means that the sensors sense the environment and the autopilot receives and uses this information to generate the appropriate obstacle avoidance maneuver. Instead of sending this command directly to the actuators, he passes this command information on to the operator and makes the final decision.

In this way, the operator is responsible for the maneuver, which enables the sense and avoid functions to be excluded from the scope of the eVTOL certification.

Advantages of using this Detect & Suggest for eVTOL certification

The detection and suggestion technique reduces the risk of the autopilot making the wrong (or not the best) decision. Therefore this responsibility lies with the operator. The main disadvantage, of course, is that a pilot is needed to make the decision in the event of obstacle detection, but this must not be a major problem when discussing eVTOL for UAM. It is true that the operator needs some skills to make these decisions or even control the obstacle detection manually, but the pilot skills required would be less since the autopilot assists them.

The ideal method for urban air mobility

Detect and Suggest is a technique that is suitable for certain cases in which a fully autonomous flight or drive is not the most practical option due to the existing restrictions on detection sensors and the restrictions of existing eVTOL certification regulations. However, the autopilot can assist the operator with his suggestions and improve the overall reliability and robustness of the system. For this reason, this technology is ideal for integrating eVTOL into the controlled air system, ie Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

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