Uber’s ride-sharing platform is expanding. Having car, bike and scooter sharing options, the mobility service now wants to expand to the sky.
In the future, trips that usually take 1 hour and 40 minutes with UberX will be cut to 15 minutes by this service. Uber is flying to launch its new commercial service UberAIR by 2023. Demonstration will begin flights next year with their electrical vertical takeoff and landing vehicles or eVTOLS. These vehicles will seat four passengers along with baggage space and a pilot. The pilot will initially control the vehicle but will eventually be there exclusively for safety reasons.
The ridesharing service will launch in 2023 in the metropolitan areas of Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne. These areas are notorious for their car-based culture where main highways have reached capacity. Flying taxis could be a solution to connect suburbs to central areas more quickly.
A test site has recently been completed ahead of the flying tests next year in Frisco, a Dallas suburb. With the flying taxis ready for testing, the launch of the “Uber Elevate Skyport Challenge” has begun. It is a design competition to develop take-off and landing structures that have never been built before. The Skyports are intended to be located at popular city locations such as concert halls and stadiums to reduce the need for a network of these structures. Ideally, parking structures, existing helipads and unused land along highways will be repurposed as Skyports.