NASA Announces 17 Developmental Testing Partners for Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge

Seventeen companies have signed five-year Space Act Agreements with NASA to take part in developmental testing activities as part of the agency’s Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge.

NASA said Wednesday the challenge seeks to test the readiness and capabilities of vehicles that could transform mobility in densely populated areas.

Starr Ginn, Grand Challenge lead at NASA, said the Grand Challenge Developmental Testing will serve as the risk reduction step toward the first Grand Challenge, which is slated for 2022.

“It is designed to allow U.S. developed aircraft and airspace management service providers to essentially try out their systems with real-world operations in simulated environments that we also will be flight testing to gain experience,” Ginn added.

NASA divided the proposals submitted by selected industry partners into three categories: developmental flight testing; developmental airspace simulation; and vehicle provider information exchange.

The agency selected Joby Aviation for the developmental flight testing category.

The selected industry partners for the Developmental Airspace Simulation category are:

  • AirMap
  • AiRXOS
  • ANRA Technologies
  • Avision
  • Ellis & Associates, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lacuna Technologies
  • GeoRq
  • Metron Aviation
  • OneSky Systems
  • Uber Technologies
  • University of North Texas in Denton

The companies picked for the vehicle provider information exchange category are:

  • Bell Textron
  • Boeing
  • NFT
  • Prodentity
  • Zeva

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