The analysis produced by Robots Expert seeks to map the challenges and shape solutions in the field of emergency medical services and UAM.

The AiRMOUR project has published a foresight analysis on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Emergency Medical Services in EU cities and regions. The analysis covers the current status of mobility, goes through an identification of related challenges and explores the possible solutions or improvements that can be either implemented or researched. The deliverable is part of the AiRMOUR work package ‘Emergency Medical Services UAM concept description’.

“It is incredibly interesting to dive into the complexity of interactions between cities, emergency services and aviation. We uncovered significant differences across Europe and found trends that need to be understood in order to embrace the possibilities that lie in the future”, says Benoît Larrouturou, Country Manager Germany at Robots Expert, the partner responsible for the deliverable.

UAM was first thought of as a third dimension of transportation, cars being the main mode of transportation. The world now focuses on mobility instead of transportation. Thanks to the measures taken by cities and the development of new mobility offerings, from car sharing to micro mobility, car ownership in cities is reaching an all-time low. Mobility is not addressed anymore by adding capacity, but rather looking for efficiency. “In some archipelago cities, such as the AiRMOUR cities Helsinki and Stavanger, aviation technologies may make a positive impact on the delivery of emergency medical services to some islands”, says Larrouturou.

More emphasis on macro trends

One key finding is that most studies take systemic economic growth for granted and ignore macro trends such as climate change, energy transition and scarcity of raw materials. The foresight analysis shows how the topics of energy and resources availability are particularly hidden from the radar. Economic models consider only capital and availability of work, but do not account for energy and raw materials.
The study shows how crucial it is to understand changes around energy and raw materials to apprehend the world in the coming years. The foresight analysis also shows how those economic studies may be misleading the decision makers because they make unstated assumptions that make projections very unreliable.

“There are some cases where airlifting does offer significant advantages over other modes of transport”, says Larrouturou. “The future of emergency medical services has to be thought of in a world more VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) than ever before. All innovations are not equal to progress. We acknowledge that it is particularly challenging for decision makers to discern when many options are possible, several are feasible in a world with more challenges and less energy, even fewer compatible with a 1.5-degree world.”

Shared vision needed

Transversal skills are highly needed to help cities integrate EMS and mobility. “The science is clear, historical patterns can no longer be used to predict the future. The ability to reach the consensus between cities, EMS and aviation stakeholders requires transversal skills that are essential to engage citizens to make the right choices in the future. Floods, sea level rise, fires will spread across Europe. The northern part of it will be most affected. Emergency services should be developed to mitigate and increase the resilience to this changing world”, says Larrouturou and adds: “Further studies need to be made around the impact of the development of micro mobility on EMS services.”

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