This week Drees & Sommer hosted an Innovation Talk with Heathrow at the Institution of Engineering and Technology in London titled ‘Future Mobility: Airport and Beyond’. The event gathered together future thinkers, tech, transport, architecture and real estate leaders to explore the nature of future travel.
Speakers included global futurist Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future, exploring the factors that will shape the economy, mobility, aviation, and airport ecosystems over the next 30 years. Dr Tassilo Wanner of Lilium showcased their pioneering “eVTOL” all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet. Taking just 8 mins for a journey the length of Gatwick to Heathrow Airports, the Lilium has the potential to revolutionise transport in urban areas. The jet has a 30 minute battery charge time for 1 hour of flight and a cruising height of 1000ft and autonomous flight capability. We could start seeing these vehicles in our skies from 2023.
Two interactive workshop sessions gave the event a dynamic twist, with participants envisioning the ideal journey of the future. Responses were varied, with many advocating a reduction in flights to only the most essential travel and an increase in the use of technology solutions to bring people together virtually. Other predictions included a distributed model of airport infrastructure with smaller airports that are ideal for electric aviation.
A discussion on the integration of future mobility and real estate explored the need for buildings and transport to be more compatible and integrated. “Data about what’s happening in buildings in real time will enable a better mobility service,” commented Layth Madi, MD of Drees & Sommer, highlighting the fact that the “App assisted lifestyle currently ends at the front door to the building - we will see that becoming the norm inside the office as well.” It was also envisaged that value and desirability of commercial Real Estate could change when new transport modes like electric jets become more flexible and changes the time and distance that people have to travel to get to work.
Overall the event was a fascinating exploration of future mobility trends and possibilities. Many thanks to everyone who took part.