UberAIR is well on its way, with the plan to start demonstrating the technology in 2020 and start operating the flying taxi service in 2023. In order to get there, it's going to need what Uber is calling "Skyports" -- areas for these electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles to board and unload passengers. On day two of Elevate, Uber's architect and design partners revealed their concepts for skyports. All skyport concepts are required to be able to support more than 4,000 passengers per hour within a three acre footprint. The skyports must also ensure electric VTOLs can easily recharge in between trips.
One major caveat, however, is that unlike regular taxis which can freely zip about the streets, UberAIR taxis need access to the sky and a place to land. That's where "Skyports" come in: special areas localized specifically for launching, landing, and customer pickup, and they're looking appropriately futuristic. During the second day of Uber's Elevate Summit 2018, the company revealed concepts for its air taxi ports. While still at the early developmental stages, Uber plans to support over 4,000 passengers per hour, per Skyport. These initial blueprints come from Corgan, an architecture firm keen on "transforming urban air mobility" with what it calls "Connect," an infrastructure that will enable up to 1,000 Uber eVTOLs (Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) each hour.
Even Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is hesitant about the ride-hailing company's goals to have a flying taxi service airborne in five years. At the second day of the Uber Elevate Summit, Khosrowshahi spoke about UberAir, the company's electric vertical take-off and landing (e-VTOLs) aircraft flight-sharing network, or flying taxis. While optimistic that electric four-seater crafts flown by a pilot will soon be possible, and that UberAir will certainly hit its 2020 goal for demo flights in Los Angeles and the Dallas area, Khosrowshahi said he had to be convinced that the cost would come down, and that the service would be accessible to the masses or even residents of those two cities by 2023. "There's a lot that has to come together," he told Bloomberg journalist Brad Stone on the Los Angeles stage. SEE ALSO: Uber teams up with U.S. Army, NASA to develop flying taxis Just like Uber doesn't want to build and maintain cars for its streetside ride service, UberAir is partnering with companies like Embraer, Bell, Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft and Karem to build and maintain its design of a craft that can fly 60 miles on a single battery charge at an altitude of about 1,000 feet.
Uber has teased a look at what its futuristic Skyport flying taxi hubs could be like when UberAir comes to life. At the firm's Elevate Summit in Los Angeles, Uber unveiled elaborate concept images of the Connect system developed by Corgan that could provide infrastructure for the vertical take-off and landing craft. The modular system can essentially be installed anywhere, be it an open site, atop a parking garage, or even on the roof of a skyscraper, according to Corgan. Uber has teased a look at what its futuristic Skyport flying taxi hubs could be like. At the firm's Elevate Summit in Los Angeles, Uber unveiled elaborate concept images of the Connect system developed by Corgan that could provide infrastructure for UberAir Uber has plans to begin its first flight demonstrations as soon as 2020, and begin taking passengers by 2023.