By November 10, 2017 0 Comments Read More →

Uber, NASA developing flying taxis system

flying taxi

Uber hopes its flying taxi will be airborne by 2020 in test cities and available worldwide in 2023. Uber image.

Flying taxis could be available by 2023

At the Web Summit conference in Lisbon, Portugal this week, Uber announced it hopes to launch a fleet of flying taxis by 2020.  The ride-hailing service says it is developing project Elevate, which will offer commuters relief from congested roadways.

The San Francisco-based company says it faces many hurdles, but hopes to offer the service to its first paying customers in a number of cities around the globe by 2023.

The list of cities where testing of the four-passenger, 200 Mph, battery-powered aircraft/taxi with fixed wings and rotors will occur includes Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai.

“There is a reality that Uber has grown up a lot as a company,” Uber’s Chief Produce Officer Jeff Holden said prior to his speech at the conference. “We are now a major company on the world stage and you can’t do things the same way where you are a large-scale, global company that you can do when you are a small, scrappy startup.”

So far, there is no estimate available for the cost of the investment, Holden told the AP.  He said Uber is developing the software, while other investors, including aircraft manufacturers are developing the craft and real estate companies are providing the ‘skyports’ where customers can catch their airborne cab.

Holden said the company has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to create a new air traffic control system to manage the low-flying aircraft.  NASA did not comment on the Uber announcement, but did say earlier that it is working with a number of companies to develop the emerging market for Urban Air Mobility, or UAM.

There is a hitch, however.  The rooftop to rooftop shuttle, powered by batteries, perhaps autonomous, with the ability to take off and land vertically hasn’t been built.  And there is no infrastructure to support the vehicle.

According to TheVerge.com, experts currently believe that engineering and regulatory hindrances will likely ground flying taxis from ever taking off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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