Uber Plans To Launch Flying Cars By 2020

Brittany BishopApr 26, 2017

When Elevate was first announced, Uber said that it's aerial taxi service would cut commute from city to city by a significant amount of time.

Uber has said it plans to invent electric flying taxis which can soar above traffic jams to get around busy cities.

Similar to how Uber dispatches drivers and their cars, the company will not be manufacturing the flying cars, which will be vertical take-off and landing, or VTOL, vehicles. The debut of the two-seater vehicle, which has foldable wings and can fly and also drive on the road like a typical auto, was a success, said EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski, who was there.

The U.S. company, which has been in and out of news lately for various controversies regarding testing of self-driving cars, will detail its flying vehicle initiative entitled Uber Elevate, with former NASA engineer Mark Moore heading the operation.

Brauer points out that the Department of Transportation is still trying to iron out rules for autonomous vehicle companies, "and now you'd have a machine that operates in yet another dimension of space".

The company hopes to have the first demonstration of how such a network of flying, hailed vehicles would work in three years.

Slovakia-based AeroMobil on Thursday unveiled its latest model flying vehicle at an auto show in Monaco and started accepting pre-orders. That's comparable to the costs of the company's existing UberX auto service for short distances.

More than 60% were moderately or very concerned about the skills required to fly the vehicle, which is perhaps why VTOL machines that are fully automated have the greatest chance of gaining mass acceptance from commuters.

Uber, valued at $68 billion, has also teamed up with companies such as Bell Helicopter, Aurora, Pipistrel, Mooney and Embraer (EMBR3.SA) to make the flying taxis. Two weeks before the Uber summit, Boeing announced a collaboration with JetBlue Venture Capital Partners and Kirkland, Washington-based start-up Zenum Aero, which is also focused on developing small and regional-jet sized hybrid-electric aircraft. Along with Dubai, the flying taxi service will also be tested in Dallas-Fort Worth if everything goes according to plan.

Perot Jr. and Mayor Mike Rawlings will speak later today.

Based on Uber Elevate's white paper that the company released in October, they expect a nice mix of slow chargers and rapid chargers to help remove the intense degradation that rapid chargers may have on batteries.

"Being in the North Texas region, which encourages innovation and responsible businesses to thrive, we trust that this will be a beneficial choice for the development of the Elevate project", she said.

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