Uber is expected to launch a flying taxi service in Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles, California by 2020. The company released a video that demonstrates the process of booking a flying taxi, seating for four and its ground speed of over 300kph.
After booking, you need to make it to an ‘Uber Spkyport’ located on top of a building. Instead of being door to door for a single individual, you will have to share the flying taxi which will drop you off at a mutually convenient location, where you can hop into a regular Uber taxi.
Chief product officer, Jeff Holden announced at the Uber Elevate Summit that these flying taxis will go live in Dubai by 2020. The company will make use of VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) aircraft, and is currently looking at a price of $1.32 per mile (about ₹86 for every 1.6km). It also stated that the fare may even become cheaper than a car.
Uber described its plans as enabling “rapid reliable transport between suburbs and cities, and ultimately, within cities”. The flying taxis will first be used for long-distance commutes in heavily congested urban areas not served by existing transport infrastructure.
“Once the ridesharing service commences, a positive feedback loop should ensure that ultimately reduces costs and thus prices for all users, i.e. as the total number of users increases, the utilisation of the aircraft increases,” the company said.
While the firm believes that autonomous electric flying taxis are an ambitious plan, it believes that it is achievable in the coming decade.