While the car manufacturers are working on autonomous driving technologies and self-driving vehicles, Uber is visualizing a future with a new means of transport – the ‘Flying Taxis’. The world’s largest cab service provider has revealed its ‘Flying Car’ concept aircraft at the second annual Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles, California. Uber’s flying taxi demonstrations will begin in 2020 and the commercial trips will takeoff in 2023 in Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles, confirms the company. Video – A Farmer’s Son Develops Driverless Tractor
The new UberAIR services, which will be developed in collaboration with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), will face stiff competition from the autonomous flying taxi company – Kitty Hawk. Backed by Alphabet’s Larry Page, Kitty Hawk had introduced its all-new commercial plane – Cora – in March, 2018. Airbus will also give a close competition to the UberAIR services. The former introduced its first flying car prototype ‘Vahana’ aircraft in February, 2018. Read – Carmakers Will Soon Provide Factory-Fitted Number Plates
Uber Flying Cars – Video
Featuring four rotors on wings, the Uber flying car prototypes appear like big drones. The company claims that the Uber flying taxis will be safer than the choppers that run on one rotor. Besides safety, the company will also take care of the cabin insulation. For the record, Uber claims that the Uber flying cars will be quieter than a helicopter. Read – Apple Confirms Plans To Launch Autonomous Cars
The Uber flights will fly above 1,000 to 2,000 feet from the ground. Passengers will be able to book the flights via Uber app. They have to go up to a “skyport” on the roof of a nearby building. Initially, the price of the Uber flying taxis will be equivalent to the Uber Black for the same distance. Though, the company will reduce the charges (to Uber X rates) once it get enough passengers.
The Uber flying cars will have vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) from skyports, air stations on rooftops or the ground. The skyports are said to be big enough to handle 200 takeoffs and landings in an hour or one in every 24 seconds. Initially, the flying cars will be piloted. The company is also planning to introduce the autonomous aircrafts at a later stage. Read – Upcoming Delhi-Mumbai Expressway Will Reduce Travel Time to 12 Hours!
As of now, the Uber flying cars project has four aerospace companies that joined the effort including Karem, Aurora Flight Sciences, Embraer, Pipistrel and Bell Helicopter. The flying taxis’ system will require an electric charging provider, a battery supplier, local government officials and agreements with property management companies.