Uber is working on launching its flying taxi in Texas, Dallas and Los Angeles, California, by the year 2020. Uber has already released its official video for flying taxi bookings, showing the seating capacity for four people and more than 300 kilometres per hour of ground speed. The car-sharing and hailing aggregator has stated that eventually flying taxis will be cheaper as compared to operating regular cars. Post making the booking, customers have to access the Uber Spkyport on the top of the building. Customers will be picked up and will share their flying taxi ride and will be dropped at a location which is mutually convenient.
According to the chief product officer at Uber, Jeff Holden, flying taxis will be launched by the year 2020 in Dubai as well. Uber will be charging $1.32 for every mile using smaller electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. This fee works out to approximately Rs.86 for every 1.6 kilometres. The firm has claimed that this fee will be lowered with the passage of time and will someday be lower than regular cars. Uber has labeled this plan as necessary for enabling fast and reliable transportation between cities and suburbs and also within cities.
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The first batches of flying taxis will be used for commutes over longer distances. Uber is already working with close to 12 companies for this project and this includes Chargepoint, the manufacturer of vehicle charging stations.
The company will be coming up with a special charger for electric aircraft which will anyway be less polluting, cheaper and quieter in comparison to regular helicopters. These will eventually make use of autonomous technologies for lowering errors by operators. The VTOL aircraft will offer greater safety due to DEP (distributed electric propulsion) and autonomous technologies.
Early VTOL vehicles could be really costly but the ridesharing model will eventually lower these costs. Prices for all users should also go down swiftly as a result. Uber will have to overcome hurdles like certification procedures for new aircraft based concepts, air traffic control aspects and battery technologies for electric transportation. Uber has stated that the biggest hurdle is the lack of suitable landing pads. While Uber does realize that this vision is highly ambitious, if things fall into place, it may well be a game changer for urban transportation as we know it.
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