Uber cabs have begun to dominate the local transportation market in many large countries. Like other big companies, Uber plans to expand its services, intending to provide their customers with the easiest ways of commuting. One of their ideas is to fly passengers to their destination. This would decrease the amount of time each journey takes and could be used to travel long distances quickly and easily. The project is known as Uber Elevate, and the company has revealed their plans and progress in their Second Annual Elevate Summit.
The vehicles would be Vertical Takeoff and Landing Vehicles (VTOL), which the company plan to make cheaper than taking a car. They are also expected to be autonomous, when this becomes possible. Uber has announced plans to begin testing prototypes within the next two years. The company has several obstacles that will need to be overcome before this can be attempted, however, and have put an extra effort into recruiting top aviation researchers to put the pieces together. Company officials are also hoping to collaborate with governments, vehicle developers, and other technologically advanced companies to bring the best product to the market.
The VTOLs would need take-off and landing locations and the company has proposed using the tops of parking garages, existing helipads and unused land close to highways. This would cost less than existing infrastructure for commute, such as roadways and trainlines. Unlike cars, which need to follow roads, or public vehicles, that make stops at certain places along the way, the VTOLs would have access to any required route. Uber has also pointed out that an increase in technology has facilitated the creation of several VTOL prototypes, and companies continue to maximize resources to get them up and running.
Other benefits include making use of electric propulsion so there are no operational emissions, as well as being relatively quiet transport vehicles. The inclusion of autonomous flying would significantly reduce accidents, caused by operational error. The company plans to begin by using the Uber Elevate services for daily long distances journeys in urban and suburban areas, and in places that are lacking current travelling infrastructure.
Uber has taken every step to prove that ‘flying’ will no longer need to be an expensive, and rare, form of travel and they plan to fulfill their customers requirements completely. Uber’s main aim in creating their flying taxis is to give commuters back some of the time it takes to get places. Time which can be spent with family or being more productive at work. Regardless of the circumstances and obstacles that will need to be overcome, it is guaranteed that there will be a built-in customer base as soon as their VTOLs are up and running.