Uber Announces Flying Taxis In Texas And Dubai By 2020

Andrew Cummings
April 28, 2017

Ride hailing startup Uber is planning to launch flying taxis by the year 2020 in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and Dubai, said Uber's Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden.

The VTOL vehicles, true to their name, will be capable of landing and taking off vertically, which means that there will be no need for a runway to get them in flight.

A Dutch company, PAL-V has begun accepting pre-orders for five years after demonstrating its first successful flight, for what may be the first flying auto to enter the commercial market.

Aviation companies Embraer and Bell Helicopter will be working alongside Uber to develop their flying taxis.

VTOL aircraft are electrically powered, meaning they produce no emissions - another indication that they may well be the future of the company.

Flying taxis would cut down travel time between San Francisco's Marina to downtown San Jose to 15 minutes, compared with the more than two hours it takes by road, Uber estimates.

The most famous ride sharing company of the world also announced that it will start its flying vehicle service first in Texas and Dubai. Uber wants to create a way for commuters to fly over it. ChargePoint, which manufactures and operates charging stations for electric cars, will make charging equipment for the vehicles.

According to Holden, the company has also begun discussions with NASA and the National Air Traffic Control Association about "airspace management", which is a fancy way of saying the logistics of dispatching flying cars.

"If you're not planting the seeds for 5-10 years out, you have no company in five to 10 years", Holden said at the summit.

"The goal of these partnerships is to develop a new on-demand VTOL network to enable customers in the future to push a button and get a high-speed flight in and around cities", Uber said in a statement. Uber will form a network that can be one of the transportation options. It was also working on a self-driving technology before it was marred with controversy.

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