The envisioned future outlook for Advanced Air Mobility operations covers increasing autonomy and operational tempo across various environments, including major metropolitan areas and the surrounding suburbs.
There will be a need for accommodating new modes of transportation to the currently available systems in a given city. We predict the number of interactions between agents will climb in orders of magnitude in the future. In terms of the demand, access to these modes of transport will also increase, which will push for safety, security, and efficiency improvements. When we compare the current transportation methods and Air Mobility's impact, all the possible interactions are hard to describe, plan, and simulate. These perceived challenges are just the tip of the iceberg for logistics, technology, and resource allocation.
The computer gaming industry has grown to become a large and vital market, spending an exorbitant amount of money developing new game engines. The final product's price is inconsequential compared to a professional 3D simulation/visualization/animation tool and its development costs. The idea of using gaming platforms' potential for other purposes than gaming seems clear to us.
To this end, we propose the selection of an appropriate gaming engine platform using the relevant metrics for a project we have called DIGEST (DIgital Game Engine data acquisition and Screening Tool). Also, we plan to combine our knowledge in industrial automation and simulation to create a functional Digital Twin and Synthetic Environment prototype in Phase I of a model city integrated with an Orchestration Simulation Tool (OST) for Advanced Air Mobility planning solutions in combination with other modes of transportation, considering safety, security, scalability, jurisdiction, and area of application, while reducing time and cost of deployment. All these factors done right will ease the acceptability of such large changes in drivers, passengers and the community at large.
NASA will use this framework to test, simulate and validate, helping to achieve public acceptance of AAM for multimodal transport operations for a city-wide system. This new paradigm for Advanced Air Mobility is known as Digital Twin and Synthetic Environments. NASA would benefit from data gathering, assets localization, on-time routing, automated traffic control, and multiple stakeholders connecting to such a platform with their own needs, with different time tables and technologies. This proposal is the stepping stone towards a larger vision.
We believe that major populated cities in the United States will need to oversee, connect, and control human and machine interactions in the case of three-dimensional transportation systems such as Advanced Air Mobility. The AAM core system will offer APIs, libraries, and plugins to third parties, thus creating a marketplace correlated to each stakeholders' and locality's needs and laws.