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Uber Unveils Plans for ‘Flying Taxi’ Service UberAIR The company said it will be launching UberAIR by as early as 2020 and will partner NASA and the US Army to get flying

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RIDE-HAILING COMPANY Uber unveiled its ambitious aviation plans at its annual Elevate summit in Los Angeles on Wednesday. The company said it will be launching UberAIR, a ‘flying taxi’ service, by as early as 2020 and has announced a partnership with NASA and the US Army to get flying.

 

Unveiling the eVTOL or the ‘electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL)’ concept, Uber said it wanted the vehicles to fly up to 200 feet and at 150 miles-per-hour for short haul flights. The electric vehicles will be able to fly 60 miles per battery charge. The flights will be piloted initially but will eventually become autonomous.

In a statement, NASA said that “the agreement will explore concepts and technologies related to urban air mobility to ensure a safe and efficient system for future air transportation in populated areas“.

NASA said it will use the data supplied by Uber to simulate a small passenger-carrying aircraft as it flies through Dallas Fort Worth airspace during peak scheduled air traffic.

Uber will also team up with US Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command, Army Research Lab to develop and test the vehicles that will be used for UberAIR.

A jointly funded effort that will develop quieter rotor fitted systems in flying crafts.

“The joint work statement focuses on research to create the first usable stacked co-rotating rotors or propellers; this is a concept for having two rotor systems placed on top of each other and rotating in the same direction,” a press statement said.

Aimed as an urban air mobility solution and hopping from rooftops in cities, users will be able to book rides via an app and flights will be commercially available by 2023.

The company also announced its partners to develop the aircrafts for UberAIR.

Embraer and Pipistrel Aircraft are already working with Uber and released concept images for its service at the service. The verge reported that Karem, Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences and Bell (formerly Bell Helicopters) are also partnering Uber.

And at the summit, Uber did share some cost details for consumers.

The flights “will cost $5.73 per passenger mile. In the near-term, Uber says it will get the cost down to $1.86 per passenger mile before ideally getting to $0.44 per passenger mile”, TechCrunch reported.

#UberAIR: WHAT THEY SAID

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