There is a reason why Uber continues to dominate the transportation industry; and not just because it’s a pioneer in the rideshare industry or the impressive number of drivers signed up under the Uber service. Uber remains a force to be reckoned with due to its continuous ability to evolve while introducing new variants of rideshare. Uber’s services range from the mid-tier UberX service to UberBLACK – the most expensive and classiest service with black high-end vehicles. Between these services are the UberXL – the 6 passenger version of UberX; UberSELECT – the service that sits between the UberX and the UberBLACK services; then the UberSUV – which is the 6 passenger version of UberBLACK. In some markets, Uber introduced customized services to meet the unique transport problems peculiar to those cities. In densely populated cities like India, you will find UberGO; a chauffeur driven hatchback.
Now, Uber is set to launch electric VTOL aircrafts by 2020 and will pilot this service in three cities: Dallas, Dubai and Los Angeles. According to the company’s website, “urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground. A network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically.”
What to know About This service
- The service is called Uber Elevate
- VTOL aircraft means Vertical Take-off and Landing
- Uber signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA that will design an air control system that will manage these “flying taxis”.
- These aircrafts will utilize electric propulsion to eliminate noise and pollution associated with other commercial aircrafts
- Possibly autonomous flying taxis
- Uber is making strategic partnerships to bring this vision to life
- Uber is aspiring to ensure that riding with VTOL aircrafts will be inexpensive and even cheaper than owning a car.
How Uber Elevate Might Work
- A passenger books a flight via the Uber app
- Get to a sky port on the roof of a building closest to you
- Then you will be ushered along with all waiting passengers into the waiting aircraft
What we think
It is obvious that these plans are not cast in stone. There will be improvements and eliminations during the design and launch process of Uber elevate. However, it is exciting to imagine the prospect of bypassing the crazy LA traffic and flying across town in a couple of minutes. The merits are impressive; think shorter travel time, cleaner environments and a smarter way to travel.
The possibility of these aircrafts being autonomous might not be well received. It seems very unlikely that a lot of people will allow themselves to be flown by a fully autonomous aircraft.
For now, we will be flying in piloted airplanes and weaving through traffic while we wait and see what Uber will birth come 2020.
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