Uber plans to test a flying taxi service in LA

Janie Parker
November 9, 2017

The aerial vehicles will serve as an alternative to helicopters, which Uber says are too noisy, too unsafe, too expensive and not environmentally friendly enough to fly in urban environments.

The popular carpool company will be unveiling their UberAir service - a network of small electric aircrafts that can be requested like a vehicle - in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Dubai.

No word on whether Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is under consideration as a name for the flying cars.

Uber will also rely on outside companies to develop a fleet of aircraft capable of meeting the demands of the taxi service.

The Uber Elevate plans were also detailed in a video showing a customer travelling by elevator to the Uber Skyport on the roof of her office skyscraper, where her flying cab awaits.

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Uber first announced plans to deploy flying taxis past year, and has already signed up Dallas and Dubai to help launch the project.

The company wants to have the fast and low-cost service to be ready for commercial operations in L.A. ahead of the 2028 Olympics, according to CNBC. According to the agreement, Uber will develop a brand-new air traffic control system for their flying taxis.

Uber has also previously toyed with using helicopters in Cape Town in what was more a marketing stunt than feasible city transport solution, but the aircraft Uber intends to use will fly at low altitudes running on electric motors.

Mr Holden said: "By the time the Olympics come in 2028, we believe Los Angeles residents will be making heavy use of UberAIR, showcasing one of the most advanced urban transportation systems to the world, and because UberAIR is all-electric from day one, it will have a net positive impact on the environment".

Not factoring in pick up times, the flight across LA could take as little as four minutes, Uber said. Holden said Uber was partnering with L.A. -based Sandstone Properties to build the skyports. In February, Bloomberg reported that two former NASA employees, Mark Moore and Tom Prevot, joined Uber to work on aircraft design and traffic management software. UberAir would effectively bring Uber's existing ride-hailing model to the sky. In London, it is battling to renew its license after city regulators refused to extend its authorization to operate, citing safety concerns.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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