Uber Air is Uber Technologies’ air-taxi service — a new aviation project which is currently in its development stage. To expand its offerings portfolio and redefine the transportation space, Uber plans to expand its services to the skies.
About Uber Air
In ideation, Uber Air is a zero-emission electric air vehicle service.
Uber’s new project aims to bring the vision of futuristic flying cars to life by 2023 with its ‘sky taxi’ service. The project, as communicated by Uber, intends to reduce commute times for riders by a significant degree and thus, effectively relieving city congestion.
What will it look like?
During Uber Elevate, the company said that the ‘sky taxi’ service will be conducted by a fleet of e-VTOLs or ‘electronic vertical takeoff and landing’ aircrafts. e-VTOLs operate via vertical take-off at approximate speeds of 240 kilometers per hour. Also, these aircrafts can fly up to 600 meters above ground.
The airborne taxi aircrafts will be flying between Skyports — with a footprint of up to two acres and a projected capacity of handling roughly 1,000 landings each hour.
Hyundai became one of the first major partners in the initiative and unveiled Hyundai S-A1 during 2020’s Customer Electronic Trade Show. The flying hybrid car-drone is a four-passenger e-VTOL. The aircraft is engineered to transition to wing-borne lift mid-air prior to shifting to vertical flight for landing purposes.
Currently, in its initial stages of development and deployment, the aircraft requires a pilot. However, Hyundai claims to make the future models as autonomous air-based vehicles.
What is Uber Elevate?
Uber Elevate is the brand name for Uber’s greater effort to build, deploy, and potentially offer an air-based taxi travel service.
According to reports, Uber’s Elevate team is collaborating with tech businesses to develop new types of aerial vehicles. They’re also collaborating with key governments and regulators to develop the legal framework that will allow their service to operate. In addition, the organization is interacting with federal and local policymakers in the United States to ensure that the new aerial service is both “green” and safe for the commuters.
Where will Uber Air be available?
According to the original plan of action, Dallas, Melbourne, and Los Angeles are expected to be hosting the demonstration flights. However, a number of international locations are going to be part of Uber Air’s destinations. These will include Delhi, Tokyo, Mumbai, Osaka, Sydney, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro among others.
Furthermore, the organization has not yet hinted at the fares of its aerial ‘flight-hailing’ service. However, Uber plans to keep the airborne taxi service fares affordable for greater accessibility by the general riders.
Updates on the project
In December of 2020, Uber announced that Joby Aviation will be acquiring Uber Elevate. Earlier, Joby Aviation signed in as a vehicle partner for the same initiative.
However, Uber looks forward to reaching profitability amidst the global pandemic, it plans to focus on its core business. That would include Uber’s ride-hailing and delivery offerings (with inclusion of logistics, micro-mobility, and electric vehicles).