Uber Is Working With NASA To Introduce Flying Taxis By 2020
The future is here
We've all seen flying cars in the sci-fi fantasy worlds of The Fifth Element and Bladerunner 2049 but that's generally where they belong- in the world of fiction.
Not for Uber, it seems. They want to make this future a reality- and in less than 3 years.
They call it "Uber Elevates."
The company announced its plans to introduce a pay-as-you-go flying car service in a white paper last year. But in a summit last week they revealed more about where it will first appear, who is working on it and what it might look like.
As part of the summit, Uber announced that they are working with NASA to create a space traffic control system to manage the low-flying aircraft. They released a glossy video to demonstrate what the user experience might be like:
In the video we see the recognisable Uber app, which highlights the nearest "skyport" on a roof of a nearby building. There's a turnstile powered by an in-app code, which allows passengers through to the taxi launch-pad where a number of flying taxis await.
The taxis themselves look like small helicopters, with room for the usual 4 passengers and a cheery looking pilot. However, the actual taxis may be autonomous.
I know what you're thinking. This has got to cost an arm and a leg.
Well, not according to Jeff Holden, Head of Product at Uber. He told the audience at the summit:
“If we’re doing this, you have to believe that we’re going to get the price very low.”
Uber plans to introduce the flying taxis to LA, Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai initially. But, with developments steaming ahead, we may see flying taxis in Manchester sooner than we thought.