Can the European aerospace capital reinvent itself as a future mobility hub?

Toulouse has established itself as a center of mobility talent, investment and innovation, Megan Lampinen writes.

If Israel is known for its entrepreneur, Toulouse needs to be known for its engineer. The city has established itself as the center of European aviation and space expertise, with its roots dating back almost a century ago to the establishment of Aeropostale and aerial postal services.The city is clearly proud of its connection with Antoine de Saint-Exupery and cannot go more than five minutes without seeing some mention of his maneuvering feats and the story of a famous child. Petit Prince..

Today, Toulouse has its Airbus headquarters, a pioneer in all aerospace products and solutions, from satellites and manned spacecraft to helicopters and commercial aircraft. Step into a park or restaurant and you’ll find several Airbus employees, or students heading to Airbus in the near future. Toulouse has several major engineering schools, has the third largest student population in France, and is actively nurturing future talent pools.

B612 is just one of Toulouse’s mobility innovation campuses

But satellites and spacecraft alone cannot reduce that. The city has a desire for greater mobility, especially with a focus on artificial intelligence and autonomous transportation. SAE Level 4 self-driving shuttles, green hydrogen production, hyperloop networks, eVTOL services, drones, software-defined passenger cars, and a multimodal ecosystem linking bicycles, subways, buses, and more recently cable cars-all of which are currently in place. Has been or is under development in the city.

This activity comes from a combination of traditional car giants and innovative start-ups, which could prove to be dynamic. The Renault Software Factory has hundreds of software developers who position automakers to thrive in the software-defined automotive era. Headquartered in Toulouse, Continental Digital Services France is working on projects such as eHorizon for more securely connected self-driving cars. At the same location, important next-generation products such as charging robots for electric vehicles, high-performance computing units, and intelligent antenna modules for 5G applications are also being developed. Both Continental and Renault work on well-established campuses backed by a large workforce, but not at Francazar’s abandoned military base.

Here, what looks like a dystopian horror movie set, some of the most innovative mobility technologies are under development. Ruined, stripped buildings and pristine thistles are enough to prevent everything except the most intriguing buildings, but for those inside, the autonomous test shuttle from Easy Mile is an empty road. You can see it going on. In some cases, these vehicles run to the Hyperloop TT system and R & D center. With the tubes assembled and the vacuum pump installed, HyperloopTT has undergone full-scale testing to establish safety and insurance certifications, optimizing and fully integrating all technical components of the system. I am. One day, a network of tubes could spread from one city center to the next, revolutionizing the movement of both goods and people.

Hyperloop TT Toulouse
HyperloopTT has set up a series of test tracks in Toulouse

Other companies in this urban reconversion project area are working on drone and aircraft related solutions. They will soon be joined by innovators exploring green hydrogen, which could be a breakthrough fuel in driving clean mobility.

This is just one of the city’s technology campuses. Beyond the B612 Innovation Center, other start-ups are also testing aerospace and embedded system innovation. Many of these could one day add a new twist to the powerful roots of 3D cities. B612 is about collaboration between public and private laboratories, companies and start-ups.

Perhaps the most promising is the flood of young talent in the region.As Automotive world We explored upcoming hybrid eVTOL workshops for Ascendance Flight Technologies. Somewhere in the building, local college students gathered to showcase the latest innovations at some engineering Olympics. Separately, an engineer from a robotics company has emerged to provide investors with the latest information on the company’s technological advances. The wide combination of engineering activities and players who are a hive of enthusiasm was not a show directed to the media. This is equivalent to the Toulouse course and should prove a successful and promising strategy for this particular city to move forward.

In the next few weeks Automotive world We will delve into many of the technologies under development in Toulouse.Please see this space Can the European aerospace capital reinvent itself as a future mobility hub?

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