Uber has begun plans for a flying taxi that would cruise above congested roadways, getting you to your destination on time and in style. Sounds pretty futuristic, right? If Uber and NASA (who will be assisting with the project) reach their objective, they’ll have the first paying customer from Los Angeles sitting in a flying taxi in 2023.
According to Uber’s Chief Product Officer, Jeff Hoden, Uber will begin testing the four-passenger aircraft by flying it over Los Angeles in 2020, and the “taxi” is expected to travel at speeds up to 322 kilometres per hour.
An artist’s rendering of the futuristic vehicle shows off a plane-helicopter hybrid, complete with both wings, which was presented at an international tech and internet conference in Portugal. The plans for rolling out the project were also presented.
“Uber is really on earth to radically improve urban mobility,” said Hoden during the conference presentation. “And that translates for us to fast, efficient, inexpensive and clean movement of people and things around cities.”
In today’s congested urban centres, it’s getting more and more difficult to accomplish this. So with NASA’s help to solve aircraft control issues over city centres and nearby airports, the ride-share program — which will be called UberAIR — is looking to the sky for the solution.
“We are very much embracing the regulatory bodies and starting very early in discussions about this and getting everyone aligned with the vision,” said Holden.
The battery-powered electric aircraft would be ordered via smartphone, just like the four-wheeled Ubers are today. And come 2023, they could be whisking you from the airport to your downtown business meeting.
The future has finally arrived.