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VFS Applauds White House Support of eVTOL
  • 18 Aug 2020 09:48 AM
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VFS Applauds White House Support of eVTOL

On Aug. 14, 2020, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released its FY 2022 Administration Research and Development Budget Priorities policy memorandum. Like last year's memo, eVTOL is again highlighted as a research priority. This 10-page memorandum (M-20-29) emphasizes programs the Administration sees as priorities as agencies develop their fiscal year 2022 budget proposals.

Over the past 75 years, the United States has emerged as the unquestioned global leader in science and technology (S&T) research and innovation. The importance of this leadership has never been clearer than in our whole-of-Nation response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The sum total of decades of public and private investment in research and development (R&D) has served as the foundation for rapidly characterizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus and developing life-saving diagnostics and medical interventions. The Trump Administration's focus on the Industries of the Future (IotF) and, in particular, artificial intelligence (Al) has equipped researchers with new and better tools to fight the disease...


2. American Leadership in the Industries of the Future and Related Technologies

The Trump Administration continues to prioritize the science and technologies that power IotF — AI, QIS, advanced communications networks/5G, advanced manufacturing, and biotechnology — as well as the future computing ecosystem that underpins advances in IotF, and the autonomous and remotely piloted vehicles that are enabled by IotF. These industries promise to fuel American prosperity, improve quality of life and national security, and create high-paying jobs for American workers. Some of the industries are also key enablers in our response to and recovery from COVID-19 and its impacts. Sustained, strategic R&D investment in these emerging technologies and the supporting future computing ecosystem will better position the Nation for handling future crises and catalyzing discoveries and innovations that will shape the global S&T landscape for the decades ahead. Additionally, research at the convergence of these industries with pathfinders such as advanced air mobility that integrates AI, autonomy, advanced manufacturing, and next-generation communications, will accelerate new discoveries that fuel future breakthroughs and yield a near-term economic and national security advantage.


IotF-Related Technology - Autonomous and Remotely Piloted Vehicles: Leveraging emerging IotF technologies, departments and agencies should prioritize R&D that enables surface, air, and maritime autonomous and remotely piloted vehicles, and optionally piloted electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft. They should prioritize R&D to lower barriers to the deployment of surface, air, and maritime autonomous vehicles with a focus on developing operating standards including sense and avoid technologies, integration approaches, traffic management systems, and defense/security operations including technology to aid law enforcement policing of autonomous and remotely piloted transportation systems. This includes technology to aid regulators in quickly and effectively validating the safety and security of advanced transportation technologies. Departments and agencies should also prioritize civil supersonic aircraft, including for type certification, the creation of overland supersonic flight noise standards, and low-sonic-boom aircraft research.

— White House Memorandum M-20-29, FY 2022 Administration Research and Development Budget Priorities, Aug. 14, 2020

The Vertical Flight Society thanks the Administration for again recognizing the transformative capabilities that electric VTOL technologies promise. With more than 300 eVTOL concepts now being explored around the world, it is critical that governments nurture this burgeoning industry and support its growth. US government programs like the US Air Force's Agility Prime and NASA's Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) projects are supporting eVTOL developments in the US. VFS encourages the Administration to support the FY2022 “R&D Budget Priorities” memo with continued investments. NASA and the Department of Transportation have committed some resources towards eVTOL/urban air mobility over the past several years but more is needed to speed this revolutionary capability to the public benefit. 

White House Memo M-20-29, Aug. 14, 2020 (9 MB)

A list of past OSTP Documents and Reports is posted at https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/documents-and-reports/.


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