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.
Sitting in New York City, looking up at the clear June skies, I wonder if I am staring at an endangered phenomena. According to many in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry, skylines across the country soon will be filled with flying cars, quadcopter deliveries, emergency drones, and other robo-flyers. Moving one step closer to this mechanically-induced hazy future, General Electric (GE) announced last week the launch of AiRXOS, a "next generation unmanned traffic" management system. Managing the National Airspace is already a political football with the Trump Administration proposing privatizing the air-control division of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), taking its controller workforce of 15,000 off the government's books. The White House argues that this would enable the FAA to modernize and adopt "NextGen" technologies to speed commercial air travel.
Uber and NASA are taking another step toward the future of transportation. The ride-sharing firm signed a second space act agreement with NASA this month to explore ways to implement a safe and efficient air travel network over congested cities. Working off Uber's plans for an urban flying taxi system, NASA will use computer models and simulations to assess how small craft could fit into city life. Uber has plans to launch its Uber Air service in 2020, starting out with piloted flights before becoming fully autonomous within a decade. The ride-sharing firm signed a second space act agreement with NASA this month to explore ways to implement a safe and efficient air travel network over congested cities. An artist's impression is pictured'Urban air mobility could revolutionize the way people and cargo move in our cities and fundamentally change our lifestyle much like smart phones have,' said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research and Mission Directorate.
Uber have unveiled futuristic concept images for'skyports' which will act as stations where passengers could hail the firm's upcoming flying taxis. These'airports' can be attached to existing buildings and would enable people to board and disembark from Uber Air vehicles. Eight firms unveiled sixteen new designs for the Skyports at Uber Elevate, its initiative to launch uberAIR, the aerial electric ride-hailing service. The ride-hailing company are working with real estate developers and cities to install the ports- which are a bit like helipads - on top of parking blocks and other under-utilised structures. Uber have unveiled futuristic concept images for'Skyports' which will acts as stations where passengers could hail the firm's flying taxis.
Uber has announced Los Angeles will be the third city for its UberAIR service – a network of small, electric aircraft that users can order like a taxi. The firm has shared a futuristic video of what the service could look like in Los Angeles, showing how the ride-sharing flights will pick up customers. The traffic-beating taxis, which could reach speeds of 200mph (320kph), will cut travel times but cost the same as a car journey, Uber claims. Los Angeles joins a growing list of cities, including Dubai and Dallas, where Uber plans to launch the service in 2020. Uber has also announced that it has joined forces with Nasa to develop a traffic management system for its flying taxi service.