Taking to the Skies: Air Taxis Could Significantly Reduce Fuel Consumption and Traffic Congestion

Air Taxi

An ORNL model using air taxis on the heavily traveled route between downtown Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport revealed that fuel consumption is significantly reduced if even a small percentage of commuters switched to air taxis. Credit: Andy Sproles/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

If air taxis become a viable mode of transportation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have estimated they could reduce fuel consumption significantly while alleviating traffic congestion.

Air taxis, small aerial vehicles that provide point-to-point, on-demand travel, have proven to save time, but their impact on fuel use remains largely unquantified.

An ORNL study focused on the energy used by air taxis between downtown Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport, a route in which congestion is severe during peak hours.

“Our modeling, which can be applied to any congested route, showed that diverting 3-20% of traffic on this route could reduce the traffic and vehicle fuel use from 15-74%,” ORNL’s Zhenhong Lin said. “The key insight is that if only a small share of travelers in congested areas switched to air taxis, you would create a win-win-win outcome for commuters, the economy and the environment.”

Reference: “Modeling the External Effects of Air Taxis in Reducing the Energy Consumption of Road Traffic” by Zhenhong Lin, Fei Xie and Shiqi (Shawn) Ou, 1 October 2020, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board.
DOI: 10.1177/0361198120952791

1 Comment on "Taking to the Skies: Air Taxis Could Significantly Reduce Fuel Consumption and Traffic Congestion"

  1. Sekar Vedaraman | December 7, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Reply

    The Hypothesis is very interesting.

    However, a lot of work is required for a better future for the World and Humaity.

    Hope the Sages are kind enough to not reveal or misue my Trust or betray it! “DO NO EVIL” , I Trust!

    Some off the top ideas for Consideration from a Science and Risk management perspective.

    1. Fuel Source – Solar or Hydrogen Essential in the future to save the planet.

    2. Shifting Traffice from the Raods to the Airways to reduce TRaffic Congestion . What happens when ten billion souls have theit own means of transportation whether on land or Air!

    3. The Risks of accidents is not Reduced. We need a foolpro0f technology to ensure Crash Proof Technology both on Land and Air or also Water based Transportation which is 70% of the Earth!

    4. The Unitended consequences of such fuel consuumption if based on fuel based on Fossils is Horrendus , even if reduced.

    Views expressed are Personal and not binding on anyone.

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