When you ask your son to book an Uber ride, you may soon have to tell him which mode of transport you want-air or road. On Wednesday Uber Technologies Inc reopened a contest to select the first international city outside US to launch its proposed flying taxi project. The company’s Uber air “Uber Aerial Ride Sharing” had already chosen Dallas and Los Angeles as its launch cities. Metropolitan cities in excess of 2m population and a density of 2000 people per square mile is preferred by Uber to launch their services. Traffic congestion, availability of a nearby airport, lack of climatic extremes, etc are the other factors for picking a new location. Uber said it is not expecting the city to provide them with tax benefits but rather want it to have that ‘aspirational’ vision.
Uber is planning to demonstrate its flying taxi capabilities by 2020 and then commercial trips to be launched by 2023. It has five manufacturers working alongside to build this next gen taxi service. ‘Karem’ is the latest company to join Uber Air along with Aurora Flight Science, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer and Bell Helicopter. Uber organised a two day flying summit called ‘Elevate Summit’ and key decisions regarding its operation were taken.
Uber showed concepts of the future flying taxis and how the system would work. The car would require an electric charging provider, needs to have agreements with property management companies along with local government officials and battery suppliers before they can go fully functional.