Tyler Suiters  0:11 

This special edition of CES Tech Talk is brought to you by Bell. Bell is developing new concepts of mobility to make moving people and products more efficient and effective, and redefining the experience of flight.

Tyler Suiters  0:27 

Hey everybody, Tyler Suiters with the Consumer Technology Association. We are the owner and producer of CES, the most influential tech event on the planet. We are getting you all geared up to make sure you are CES ready in 2019. The show, not far off, January 8-11 in Las Vegas. Well, this you know if you've been to CES and if all you've done is listen to our podcasts. You've probably heard these topics yourself but CES is the location for innovation, for what's next. It's the global stage for innovation and the technologies of today and tomorrow. That includes self-driving vehicles, that includes drones. Even the sharing economy is represented there at CES.

Tyler Suiters  1:15 

But today's topic envelops all three of these: self-driving vehicles, drones, and the sharing economy. And when you put them all together, the equation adds up to air taxis. Yeah, pause and think about that. These are very close to becoming realities, and solving transportation problems across the country, and probably across the world, too. So this week, we are talking to an aviation pioneer. This company was the very first to certify a commercial helicopter. Also an iconic disruptive innovator, the company who happened to give us the new verb Ubering, I think you know who that is. And also an international high-tech aerospace group from France that is a critical supplier to some of the companies you know well. All of that is on this week's edition of CES Tech Talk.

Tyler Suiters  2:09 

We have a full cast here in the CTA studios today. With me is Michael Thacker, who is Executive Vice President of Technology and Innovation with Bell. Also Mark Moore, who is the Engineering Director of Aviation with Uber. And from Safran, Jean-Baptiste Jarin, who is Vice President of the Program for Hybrid Propulsion Systems. Gentlemen, a long introduction. Thanks all for taking time with me today.

Michael Thacker  2:34 

Thank you. Glad to be here.

Tyler Suiters  2:35 

Michael, let's start with you. Since Bell is a traditional, I would say, aviation company and it's been in the industry for so long. Where are we right now in terms of aviation and transportation with technology mixed in?

Michael Thacker  2:50 

So I would say we're at an inflection point. And while Bell is a traditional aviation company, we've been innovating the way people fly for over 80 years. So a history of innovation and I think, much like the dawning of the jet age, we're at an inflection point where the convergence of technology and societal norms are coming together in a way that's going to change the way people move, particularly moving about cities.

Tyler Suiters  3:15 

Mark, let's turn to you. Uber, of course, screams technology and transportation right now. Aviation, I think will catch many people by surprise that you all are heading in this direction.

Mark Moore  3:26 

Yeah, I mean, Uber has done an incredible job over the last seven years of proving that there is this huge demand for on-demand transportation, especially in major metropolitan markets where the vast majority of trips take place. But Uber has no experience in aviation and that is exactly why Uber's partnering up with Bell, because they have so much experience especially in terms of ensuring safety, because it is about safety first and transportation.

Mark Moore  4:04 

So we just couldn't be more thrilled with the partnership that we have because it leverages the strengths of both companies. Uber at knowing and proving this on-demand market and taking bold moves into disrupting markets and getting them getting them going, and Bell with fantastic vertical flight products, which is what we're talking about: being able to take off and land vertically, get across the city, and be super productive with your travel time.

Tyler Suiters  4:36 

JEAN

Tyler Suiters  4:36 

Jean-Baptiste, I gave away, I think to some degree, Safran's role in this one, I was reading your title: Hybrid Propulsion Systems. This is hybrid electric, right? We're talking about clean energy and its role in this emerging sector.

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  4:50 

Yeah, we are talking about electric flying vehicles. So And for that, we will take advantage of the power source. The objective is to be, I would say, clean. But the reality today in terms of power density, fuel is clearly way ahead of battery sales as of today, and that's why we have agreed with Bell and Uber that hybridization will be the next step before going fully electric and get rid totally of the oil.

Tyler Suiters  5:20 

Is there any potential apprehension among your marketplace? I'm thinking potentially of consumers. The idea of an air taxi, to use a very clumsy term, is certainly a challenge for many to overcome. The fact that that does not have a traditional propulsion system, maybe an added hindrance, just from a perception standpoint from consumers. Are we close to dealing with that yet or is that so far in the future that's not even a concern?

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  5:46 

All right. In terms of hybrid propulsion, I would say we are the closest, in fact, so the technology is there. we've demonstrated it a few months ago with a demo on the ground run. We just shared this video with Uber. So today in terms of technology, Safran has everything it requires: electric motors, distribution generators, turbines. And so we can propose a full hybrid system. And this is why Bell partnered with us and we have that exciting journey together. There are other challenges ahead, which will take maybe a little longer, such as safety certifications or social acceptance. But in terms of technology for the hybrid propulsion system, we are there.

Tyler Suiters  6:34 

Interesting.

Michael Thacker  6:35 

In terms of public acceptance, though, of the technology, I don't see it as being a huge leap as automotive and many other industries have been moving towards electrification. Aircraft have as well. It's been in systems and now we're moving into that for full propulsion. I don't think that'll be a huge leap for people to overcome and Bell's been making things fly for eighty years.

Tyler Suiters  6:58 

Yeah.

Michael Thacker  6:58 

And we've been making things take off and land vertically and move on to wing and fly rapidly and forward flight with things like the V 22 tilt rotor for decades as well. So with the safety focus of this team and the experience that we have together, I don't have any concerns about the ability to get the public to step on the aircraft to take the flight.

Tyler Suiters  7:16 

Well, Michael and Mark, for you two, that begs a question about the unique partnership that you all have. Uber is a company that's not quite 10 years old. Bell is coming up on 85 years in industry. What is the common ground that you all have, and also the unique perspectives that your respective companies bring to this partnership?

Michael Thacker  7:38 

Well, I'll start.

Michael Thacker  7:40 

I think the first thing is we have a shared vision for what mobility can be in cities and the idea that this on demand society, whether it's package delivery, or the ability to move across town, is an opportunity for both of us and Mark mentioned earlier, we have kind of coming complimentary expertise. We know how to make things fly. We know how to operate them. We know how to do it safely. We know how to deal with regulators and to be able to work through the aviation system and hold those high expectations. Uber has a great experience in their short history of being able to create this ride sharing market and this on demand transportation system, and the two of them will marry together very nicely.

Tyler Suiters  7:40 

Please, Michael.

Tyler Suiters  7:40 

Mark?

Michael Thacker  7:40 

You know, the, the first thing is, we have a shared vision for what mobility can be in cities. And the idea that this on demand society, whether it's package delivery, or the ability to move across town, is an opportunity for both of us. And Mark mentioned earlier, we have kind of coming complimentary expertise, we know how to make things fly, we know how to operate them, we know how to do it safely. We know how to deal with regulators and to be able to work through the aviation system and hold those high expectations. Uber has a great experience in their in their short history of being able to create this ride sharing market and this on demand transportation system, and the two of them will marry together very nicely.

Tyler Suiters  8:23 

Mark.

Mark Moore  8:24 

Yeah. Uber's a software company. And what we're talking about here are aircraft that can take off and land vertically, which are very much brand-new type of hardware, and especially it's highly integrated software, hardware and software and digital flight control systems. So to have the expertise of Bell on the hardware be able to couple in with our system management on the software side of things, is really the best of both worlds.

Tyler Suiters  8:58 

What about a temperature check of where we are right now? As I mentioned before, the idea of an air taxi is a game changer, I think, for a lot of people to even conceive, much less in envision. Ride sharing, tech enabled ride sharing, was disruptive innovation at its peak in some senses, went when Uber hit mass market. Where are we right now?

Michael Thacker  9:23 

So I think the technologies to enable this transformation of flight exists today. The integration of those, the regulatory framework, the operational framework to be able to bring them to market, is still a work in progress. So we're integrating the technology into the vehicles which will be capable of performing the mission that we've described: taking people across town, doing so safely, vertical takeoff and landing. We're working with regulators and communities to get the regulatory framework in the public acceptance to be able to move to that next step, which is carrying people across town in commercial service. And our expectation is that will happen in the mid-2020s. We think it's that close.

Tyler Suiters  10:01 

I love hearing a time frame. Mark, how about you, you're used to moving exceptionally quickly at Uber.

Mark Moore  10:06 

Yes. And when we believe it's very important to have a forcing function for this new capability. We have, across the system, billions of dollars being invested in this new transportation system. So there are, you know, strong expectations from that investment for this system to be rolled out in a timely manner. So, yes, we have set 2023- by the end of 2023, to be the introduction of the first few vehicles, and starting in Bell's home city of Dallas as the very first city. It's a very aviation friendly and aviation pioneering location. And again, we couldn't be more excited that that has been chosen as the place for this all to start.

Tyler Suiters  10:58 

Jean-Baptiste, regarding the idea of hybrid electric propulsion and the timing of the rollout, is the general trend towards smart cities, whether that's smart city development or smart city envisioning — just the inception — part of the driver here, do you see that as lifting what we'll call the taxi industry in the decade ahead or so?

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  11:18 

It depends in which part of the world and to which politics and mayors you talk to. But generally, Safran, we share the vision of Bell and Uber for that. In terms of technology and mass market, what we believe is that it will be a two-step approach. It will be most probably in the timeframe mentioned by Mark and Michael: 2023, mid 2020s for the first operations, which will be hybrid, because the battery power density won't be there by that time. It will be a direct route, so to make sure that you avoid crowded population below the plane. But it will start there. And then as the confidence gain, as safety demonstrates, as the technology progress for the batteries, we will more and more get closer to a mass market.

Tyler Suiters  12:13 

So success will beget more success.

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  12:15 

Yeah, exactly. That's how aviation was born. If you look back 100 years ago, that's how it all started.

Tyler Suiters  12:24 

Going back to Bell, Michael, I love this language that the company uses. You refer to flying cars, as I'm quoting here, "shorthand for a just out of reach future." So the simple question is, are they in our grasp? And you would say by 2023, yes, but take that as a larger concept and exactly what this represents to us, you know, as society accepting these rapid-fire tech innovations.

Michael Thacker  12:51 

So I really think society- part of what makes this the perfect time is that society is ready. We already talked about the change in expectations of people today with regard to on-demand, whether it's getting your package delivered the same day, or being able to call an Uber and have your car arrive and take you to your destination within a couple minutes, and to be able to choose what level of transportation you want, who your driver is, to be able to make all those matches. So the expectation of an on-demand society is already there.

Michael Thacker  13:22 

The adding of the third dimension has become critical because we also have a trend of urbanization more and more people moving into urban centers, which makes the congestion and cities like the one I live in, Dallas, Fort Worth, getting more and more congested and more and more time that people spend in traffic, more and more time that your packages spend in transit. And we're losing billions of dollars in economic cost as well as the personal time that you and I give up with our families and others as we go about the business of our day. So I think societally, we can be ready for this because it solves a critical challenge that we have.

Michael Thacker  14:00 

One of the elements that will be critical for that is the accessibility of it, so you and I can take advantage of it. So, to make this work, we have to get to scale, we have to get to the point where it isn't just a few people in a few very expensive aircraft flying across town and taking advantage of this. It has to be something that's within reach of you and I being able to use and have it benefit our lives. And with what we're doing and the approach we're taking, we can get there.

Tyler Suiters  14:24 

Mark?

Mark Moore  14:25 

And that's what Uber cares about. I mean, Uber would not be making these investments unless we knew there was a path to scale. So we're not just doing this for a few flights. We're doing this to create a new transportation solution that gives people in these large metropolitan areas a new choice, and I agree so strongly, not only is the technology ready, not only are the people ready, but it's stronger than that. It is that there is a compelling need for an alternative to ground gridlock. And what's so cool about taking advantage of the third dimension into flight is that you're not stuck on the ground with pathway dependent transportation. All of a sudden, the path becomes irrelevant. You can go in any direction. And three dimension provides you lots of space for capacity.

Tyler Suiters  15:30 

That sounds like a microcosm for tech evolution and innovation in general, right?

Mark Moore  15:34 

Well, yeah, and that's why it's kind of like the internet where, again, we live in exciting times where you got Hyperloop. And now Elon Musk talking about the Boring Company. But still, those are pathway-based systems. If you look at the Internet, part of the incredible capacity and speed of it is that it's a nodal based system. It's based on different nodes. And you can basically get to each one of those nodes in a huge number of different ways, it isn't path dependent.

Mark Moore  16:05 

And what we're talking about and building together is a node-based system where if you've got 50 nodes and you add one more, well, now all of a sudden you have 50 new pathways, 50 new little ways you can take those routes. While if you have a ground rail system and you add one more station, you've got one more station, that's it. So it really is about being able to tap into this geometric growth that permits just huge capacities and overcomes these gridlock problems on the ground.

Tyler Suiters  16:41 

Jean-Baptiste?

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  16:41 

I was just taking the — I would say the explanation of Michael and Mark, which also explains why a young company like Uber and older companies like Safran and Bell, because all together we are 150 years old, work together that when we talk about efficiency, which is at the heart of the propulsion system, it's when you have the interaction of Uber's, Bell's, and Safran's technologies that we make a system efficient.
Getting in the right three dimensions with a system, and Uber has demonstrated it can revolutionize ride sharing. If you put four people in a Bell air vehicle, we will be more efficient than a single rider in a taxi, to do the Dallas Fort Worth airport. So we will be just more efficient and that's how the cost will get affordable for most of the population.

Mark Moore  17:45 

And that's what's critical is being able to get this service at a reasonable cost. And each of us have a critical part to play, whether it's the efficiency of the propulsion system or the efficiency and lightweightness of the vehicle. Or just being able to fill the vehicle each time you do a flight so that that cost is amortized over more people, which is exactly what we do on the ground with Uber pool. So it's just it really is this wonderful marriage where each company is bringing the pieces to achieve efficiency and cost effectiveness in this new transportation system.

Tyler Suiters  18:24 

That's a great point about efficiency, Mark. Jean-Baptiste, what about the energy efficiency at play here?

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  18:29 

So the energy efficiency will come from the pooling that Mark will explain later, it comes from the aircraft. Michael will explain that later. And it comes from the propulsion system. For the propulsion system, what's very good with hybridization is that we can take advantage of the battery also turbo generator, which is a turbine and a high speed generator to get the energy, so we can basically select the rate of hybridization according to the mission we have to do. And so are we a little more electric? Are we a little more relying on fuel? And then we take advantage of the multi auto and of the hybrid system to make sure that we will use a turbine always at its right point of dimensioning.

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  19:18 

So I don't know if I'm clear there, but basically today a turbine in a helicopter, it's the worst case scenario for any engine manufacturer, because the turbine has to, to adapt all the time to the pitch, to the buyer demands, to the loads, and so on. In a hybrid system, as a turbine is designed to work always to run a generator. And so at a given speed, given pace, and so for us it's something we can use to make it as efficient as possible.

Tyler Suiters  19:50 

Mark, the idea of pooling, certainly familiar for anybody who uses ride sharing, almost an exponential efficiency saver in this case, right?

Mark Moore  20:01 

Yeah because you're literally sharing the ride which then amortizes that energy, amortizes that cost across everyone. So instead of you know paying for the trip yourself, I mean it's just like on the ground. An UberX is $15, if you do Uber pool it becomes about a $5 trip, because you're sharing the experience and leveraging the other riders to use that same vehicle on a trip that's going in a very similar place to be smart in terms of the energy usage and the cost to each individual passenger.

Tyler Suiters  20:44 

Right, sharing the energy use to some degree and having one sized carbon footprint, I guess, for a given trip.

Mark Moore  20:51 

Yeah. And the reason we can do that is because we have just such a huge customer base. We have over 70 million monthly active users. I believe we do over 10 million trips a day. And it's that power of the market to come together in volume that really pushes to this cost effectiveness.

Tyler Suiters  21:21 

I still shake my head. 10 million trips a day for a company that isn't 10 years old.

Mark Moore  21:26 

Things move fast these days. And that's why I've been an aerospace my entire career. 32 years at NASA and two years at Uber, and it is exciting to see aerospace now getting into the fast lane and we're in this new era that's very Wright brother, like where it's just like the innovation is happening so fast, you can't sit back. And in the aerospace world, it was a slower pace over much of my career.

Mark Moore  22:02 

Now all of a sudden everything's just happening at the pace of Uber.

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  22:10 

We try to follow.

Mark Moore  22:11 

Well, yeah, and that's the good point is certification is hard, hard work because the FAA and EASA absolutely want to make sure that this is completely safe. So, but even FAA and EASA have fundamentally changed how they're going about the certification of the small vehicles, where they've gone to consensus space standards, that lets these new technologies be certified so much quicker. So I mean, it's not just exciting new technologies, or exciting new business cases. The regulatory framework for us has changed over the last three years to enable this to move very, very quickly.

Tyler Suiters  22:57 

Now, Michael, I apologize in advance for asking someone with such a deep engineering background about some policy issues, especially around infrastructure. But that is a consideration for what we will see with air taxis. And that's an area where innovation runs into speed bumps.

Michael Thacker  23:17 

So the regulatory pieces are certainly in place. Infrastructure is another one, it's going to be a critical element of making the system work, you know, but Mark hit on it a little bit earlier, with this pathway dependent idea of ground transportation. If you think about infrastructure and what it takes to put a node on to our system, it's a vertaport. It's the size of potentially a parking lot or the top of a building, and it's in a single location. To add infrastructure that's on rail or a highway or even Hyperloop, it means you're taking out miles of pathway through somebody's neighborhood, through somebody's business, you're disrupting lives and livelihoods, to be able to create this new transportation infrastructure. We're actually very infrastructure light in that regard.

Tyler Suiters  24:01 

Because you have to get there and all the other cases that you're describing either on or under the ground.

Michael Thacker  24:07 

Absolutely. Absolutely. And then beyond that, you know, Mark talked a little bit about the pooling concept from an efficiency standpoint. But there's also an efficiency to be gained by making the vehicles the right way, if we can optimize the vehicles to make sure that they can turn around in five minutes, so that you can have fewer vehicles serving the same population of communities and still manage to serve all of the business that's being requested, then that's another efficiency in the system in terms of maintenance costs, in terms of asset needs. So there are a huge number of opportunities for this to be a highly efficient system, and to be more efficient than the ground systems we have today.

Tyler Suiters  24:45 

Let me get back into your wheelhouse of engineering. I'm sure that's most comfortable for you. The issue of turnaround, as you said, when we're involved in ride sharing, you don't think twice of being dropped off in a car and that car may be picking someone else up at the very same restaurant, the very same building. But there is a turnaround time that is necessary inherently with helicopters today. Where are we right now in terms of what's required?

Michael Thacker  25:14 

So again, if you think about the existing aviation system and the turnaround, you have post flight checks, you have pre flight checks, you have a walk around of the vehicle, you have to make sure that the propulsion system is ready to refire again, and then some turban based systems, you've got a wait time before you can relight an engine that's been turned off. And so, again, by architecting the system so it's incredibly reliable, that it goes through post and preflight checks in an automated way on its own to identify if there are any issues that would cause it not to be able to fly, those are ways that you optimize the system be able to get that five minute turnaround.

Tyler Suiters  25:49 

Let's talk about CES 2019 because this sector incorporates two of my favorite aspects of the show. One is, you never know what you're going to see next. And the other is there's so much innovation that at least for those of us outside the engineering and coding sector may not have even conceived. What is your place at CES? And I say this to all three of you, as we're talking about air transport for consumers.

Michael Thacker  26:17 

Yeah. So we were excited last year to be a part of the urban mobility Hall. Obviously, it was mostly automotive and people talking about automating vehicles.

Tyler Suiters  26:27 

Exactly.

Michael Thacker  26:28 

We were very excited to come in and let people know there is a third dimension that can make your life better. And so we shared a Bell Air taxi experience, allowing people to virtually understand what an air taxi could do for them, how it could relate to their life and be integrated into their life and bring benefit to them. This year we'll bring a little bit more. Obviously we have our partners from Safran here with us today. So we'll be sharing a little bit more about how the aircraft is going to fly, the propulsion system, and take it to that next step to help people understand how we're going to make it a reality for them in the near future.

Tyler Suiters  27:02 

Is it a bit about partnerships, too? whom you meet, whom you connect with? The unforeseen discussions that occur while you're there?

Mark Moore  27:11 

Yeah, definitely about partnerships. But even more than that, if you go to any conference, it's not about any one meeting. It's about those random times when you bump into someone and oh, my gosh, something magical happens in terms of creating new partnership or a new idea, or things just click in some way.

Tyler Suiters  27:33 

Right, the serendipity.

Mark Moore  27:34 

Yeah, so the networking opportunity is fantastic. But also, I mean, one of the powerful things about CES is being able to reach consumers. And as Michael said, we have to provide context and understanding for them to get ready for this market, right? I mean, when you go back to the automobile when it was introduced to replace horses and carriages, it literally took 30 years and one generation to die off before the new generation was ready to embrace devil wagons. That's what they called them, right? And because they weren't acclimated to it. So CES gives this wonderful opportunity to reach out to the people who are going to be benefiting from this and get a contextual experience from Bell of the products that they're developing.

Michael Thacker  28:28 

You know, you mentioned the consumer, but it's also a great opportunity to engage with communities. You mentioned smart cities and how this plays into the idea of greener, cleaner, more mobile cities, more interactive cities. And there's a huge contingent of folks at CES who are absolutely focused on what does a smart city really look like? And so it's a great opportunity for us to interplay with the rest of what's going on in that technology community, to help people understand what their options really are and that it's much wider open than they think in terms of the mobility solutions that can be brought to the city to help get to that and to achieve that goal.

Tyler Suiters  29:05 

So Jean-Baptiste, this will be your very first CES. It's rare that we get to talk to someone who hasn't been before. Do you know what to expect? Do you know what you're in for? Do you have an idea of all the people you'll meet and the innovation you'll see and the ideals you'll come away with?

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  29:21 

Not at all. That's the fun of it, I would say, we go there with Uber. Because we are there to explain how our hybrid system works, why it exists today, because most of the people don't know about it. So we will demonstrate that. And then we will have eyes and ears wide open to get to the technology. Michael mentioned the 5 minutes around turnaround time, we need to achieve that. And that's where we still can progress in automatic project in having health monitoring fully automated with the latest software. So we will for sure we'll have a glance around to see with whom we could work and make the system even better.

Tyler Suiters  30:05 

Excellent. Mark?

Mark Moore  30:06 

Well, one of the reasons I'm excited about having this be at CES is if you look at these aircraft, more and more, they're getting away from the mechanical complexity, and turning into digital devices. And CES is the place for digital devices. And more and more there's going to be software systems and digital monitoring, health monitoring systems and all these different pieces that come together into digital aircraft systems. And there's just so much opportunity for coming together to see what new pieces can make Bell's aircraft even more phenomenal.

Tyler Suiters  30:49 

So what particular areas are you planning to scout or visit in that vein, Mark? Is it all through transportation technologies? Are you moving into connectivity, 5G or all of the above?

Mark Moore  31:02 

Yes, because these aircraft are going to be so connected. I mean, on the network, we need to know the battery state. These aircraft need to be essentially orchestrated, everything is happening, knowing about everything else. And so yes, from interconnectedness to the transportation Hall, you name it. That's why- but you got to get outside of your own world, right? And you got to see where there's just some magic that you didn't expect in some new area. I've never made it all the way through all of CES.

Tyler Suiters  31:39 

I'll admit neither have I.

Mark Moore  31:41 

So you know, maybe this time I can have that be as a goal.

Tyler Suiters  31:44 

Michael, I see you nodding along.

Michael Thacker  31:47 

No, I'm excited to go because like you said you never know what you're going to see and those kind of unexpected connections. And right now there is so much really in common across so many different disciplines that can come together. You've talked about the connectivity piece. Certainly, you mentioned 5g and the ability to communicate on and off the aircraft with high speed, secure good bandwidth within cities is going to be critical for making these vehicles operate correctly.

Michael Thacker  32:14 

You mentioned AI and I kind of like to think of AI as augmented intelligence as opposed to artificial intelligence. Because really, it comes about making sure that we're taking full advantage of what the computation capabilities that are available today can do for us. And also taking full advantage of what humans are good at, and bringing those things together. And so I'm really excited to look and see how people are moving in all these different spaces, whether it's automotive, whether it's smart cities, or the digital devices that Mark talked about, because all of them have pieces that we can take and integrate into the aviation part, which we already know how to do well.

Mark Moore  32:49 

And especially like even cyber security, if we could leverage what's going on in different areas. We're behind the curve in that one specific topic.

Tyler Suiters  33:01 

So I'd like to pull back for a final question to some degree to where we started, right, the nexus of transportation and technology, specifically, our transportation. To go around to each one of you and say, if you're looking ahead to the next milestone, in your transportation, in this sector, what is it going to be and when you expect it? So Jean-Baptiste, we'll start with you.

Jean-Baptiste Jarin  33:23 

Well, we are just creating it now, I would say, because we are really taking advantage of electrification to make the aircraft reshaped and taking more efficient. On whether we have the revolution we are at is basically the one which happened a century ago, when the industry moved from mechanical interfaces. I mean, as a former textile company, before having machines that were all mechanized. And today, we can take advantage of electrification, for example, to leave the single auto and to go to multi autos, because it's so easy to transport electricity on board. It's not that easy for everyone, of course, we are very high voltage and so on. But compared to mechanical, it's quite easy. And so we can reshape and we can take full advantage to get quite efficient. And the hybridization is just power generation. Hybrid for us today means turbo generator and battery, hybridization to more will mean fuel cell and battery or fuel cell and supercapacitor. That will just be there to provide the most efficient power tools to take advantage of the new designs that typically Bell is developing today with multi auto.

Tyler Suiters  34:44 

Mark, what about you?

Mark Moore  34:46 

I'm gonna let Michael go because the natural thing to talk about right now is the vehicle.

Tyler Suiters  34:51 

That's fair.

Mark Moore  34:51 

And the demonstrations happening in 2020.

Tyler Suiters  34:54 

That's an official pass.

Michael Thacker  34:57 

So I'll take the past buck. And I think Mark hit it though, you know, we already see people flying, you know, different sizes, types of vehicles with different capabilities, not all of which hit the full mark of being able to carry four people 40 to 60 nautical miles and do so in a safe and efficient way. I do think that the next step really is what I would call the capability demonstration phase. But it isn't just the vehicle, its capability demonstration phase of the vehicle, the operations in a real urban environment, the integration with the airspace and dealing with other unmanned vehicles that are out there along with traditional aerospace activities going on within and around cities. And so I think that is the next step is you're going to begin to see real demonstrations of capability. And they might be trial runs, where they're not necessarily carrying people, maybe they're carrying packages first. Maybe they're on the fringes or outside of cities first and then progressively move in. But I think that is the progression of demonstrations that you'll see to allow us to go to full commercial utilization,

Tyler Suiters  36:03 

Mark, on the rebound.

Mark Moore  36:05 

So we are seeing the beginnings of real demonstrators. And in the next two years, we're going to see many, many more. This is real aircraft that are flying the real missions and people are going to understand just how close this is. And again, we live in very exciting times where Bell and Safran are developing very exciting products that are going to help change people's lives and make them better.

Tyler Suiters  36:40 

Pulling one more time from Bell's messaging suite, "coming soon to a neighborhood near you." Love it. Your messaging is awfully good, Michael. From Bell, Michael Thacker; from Uber, Mark Moore; from Safran, Jean-Baptiste Jarin. Gentlemen, thank you all. And we'll see you in Las Vegas.

Michael Thacker  36:57 

Thank you, look forward to seeing you there.

Mark Moore  36:58 

Thank you.

Tyler Suiters  37:00 

That is a wrap. Hope you feel a bit more CES ready now. A reminder to subscribe to this podcast. You won't miss any of our episodes as we're getting geared up and ready for CES 2019. Speaking of the show, January 8-11 in Las Vegas. The information you need is at CES tech, that’s CES.tech. As always, none of this is possible without our stars: our engineer John Lindsey, our producer Tina Anthony. You are both the best in the business, as far as I'm concerned. And I'm glad you're here. Thank you all for joining us. I'm Tyler Suiters. Let's talk tech again soon.

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