While air travel has been a part of our lives for quite some time, the great costs associated with it make it not so affordable for the common public. Auto-pilot has been a part of our passenger planes but even then they are not very reliable. A pilot always has to be present.
The company who revolutionized cab services throughout the world has been working on automatic aerial pods for ride-share and has announced that aerial rides will soon turn from science fiction to reality in the coming years.
Cartoons of yesteryears have often portrayed how the second millennium will usher in automatic aerial services which will be accessible for all. Uber seems to plan on just that.
The Uber Summit is an annual event which results in the amalgamation of a diverse community of investors, innovators and policy-makers for a 2-day conference to envision the future of aerial rides in urban areas. Elevate Summit 2019 kicked off in D.C. as its leaders went on to showcase an air taxi which will be used by the developers as a prototype. This gives the audience the tangibility to realize how close they are to such rides. They can go see the display on the outside of Reagan Building, in D.C.
The body of the product has multiple round-shaped blades around it to make it fly. The body is hollow like a modern helicopter where the passenger is to be seated. The blades will be rotatable and will act as the combination of the wings of an aeroplane and the blades of a helicopter. The fancy design has both adults and kids excited to try it out.
This aircraft will be on display outside the Reagan Building in downtown DC next week. Uber says it plans shared aerial rides in urban areas by 2023. pic.twitter.com/ndvWFjfEBx
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) June 7, 2019
Bell Helicopter is the one entrusted by Uber management to develop the air taxi. Uber plans on launching the rides on ground in 2023.
In 2016, Uber Elevate published an analysis to launch the aerial ride-sharing product on Uber’s platform. The whitepaper brought together the efforts of those who have now founded a vibrant industry of engineers, policy makers, scientists and investors to bring to reality what has been only a vision till now.
The process of booking Uber air rides will be very simple. Customers will have to confirm an Uber ride through their app. The driver would then transport the customer to a vertiport where the air taxi will be parked. The air taxi is charged with ferrying the rider to another vertiport of their selection, to land. Thereon, the rider may request another Uber ride or walk to their destination.
Officials have said that the air taxi will be fully automated and will not be requiring any pilot or driver.
Apart from Bell Helicopters, four other companies have also been active in developing air taxis to help Uber. Despite their big plans, there has to be major infrastructural changes made to facilitate and usher in this new future.
Uber Elevate is dedicated towards transforming the world through aerial ridesharing. The potential market is identified as those who traverse through highly congested ground traffic, which included office workers as well as the delivery associates who travel all day long for deliveries. With this new mode of transport, the product delivery market will see a new rise of automation. The non-piloted automatic rides will not only cut costs but also increase efficiency for this particular market.
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It seems, with Uber Air, the future of “flying cars” is closer than we think!
Uber is preparing to take flight.
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) 10 czerwca 2019