Uber Air Announces First International City for Flying Taxi Trials

Melbourne is all set to host the trial for flying taxis by Uber Air


The future of technology is here, and Uber Air is doing its best to help us experience it.

Back in the 90s, everyone was dreaming about flying cars that would help them reach a place within minutes of flight. But this is not going to remain a dream. Uber Air is all set to make this a reality!

The multinational company is looking at moving people from one place to another via air, and it gets more and more exciting. Early this month, at the Uber Elevate summit held in Washington DC, the company discussed its plans for the same. It displayed a dream cabin interior concept that looks like both a helicopter and a drone. There are seats inside it for four passengers and of course, a pilot. John Badalamenti, the design head of Uber Elevate, explained the plans behind this huge launch to be expected in 2023.

Until now, Uber had announced plans to have trials for their flying cars in Los Angeles and Dallas. Joining these American cities will be the city of Melbourne in Australia. These test trials are expected to commence in the year 2020, following which full-fledged operations will begin from 2023. Uber has claimed that the prices of these tickets will be the same as those of an UberX ride; however, these rides will be of much lesser duration.

Isn’t this exciting and wonderful?

Melbourne’s Plans

Image Source: Livemint

According to Susan Anderson, the general manager of Uber Australia, New Zealand, and North Asia, “Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology.”

She further added that if this is coupled with the unique demographics of Melbourne and its geospatial factors, there will be a new culture of innovation and technology in the city. It makes Melbourne the perfect place for the third launch of Uber Air and this will be followed by launches in other Australian cities.

The State Government of Victoria, Australia has been highly supportive of this initiative. Uber is looking forward to partnering with them and progressing in this venture that is clearly the future of travel and commutation. Uber Air’s main motto is to reduce road congestion.

The global head of Uber Elevate, Eric Allison, said that a trip from Melbourne CBD to the airport usually takes between 25 minutes to an hour. However, with the advent of Uber Air, this travel time will be reduced to less than 10 minutes. Taking into account that there is no train line to the Melbourne airport, Uber Air can come to the aid of people.

Other Cities For Uber Air’s Launch

Uber Air also announced a list of other countries where it would like to launch its aviation project. These cities include Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore of India; Tokyo and Osaka of Japan; Rio de Janeiro of Brazil; Melbourne and Sydney of Australia; and Paris of France.

The company is primarily focusing on metro cities that have high traffic congestion and a population of more than 2 million. Uber believes that it would allow pooled rides to take place and will be able to serve more people on the run. It is also looking forward to considering polycentric regions, which are urban areas made up of multiple cities – the cities that are already good with Uber on the streets.

Uber Air’s outlook for India

Uber Air said that India will be a very big market with tremendous potential. The technical advancements can help cut down the costs of travel dramatically and will help it scale quickly as soon as it starts its first operations. Uber Air is certainly looking forward to coming to India as soon as possible.

Dallas and Los Angeles

By 2023, the entire setup of Uber Air will be ready to go into action. There will be a commercial launch in Los Angeles and Dallas. Both the cities are expected to have five Skyports each. Skyports are landing pads within the city that will help people to take off and land within the city. It will obviously take time for passengers to get accustomed to the idea, but Uber Air is certainly looking at expanding opportunities. Uber Air is one of the most unique ideas for an extremely busy urban area and can be a game changer in many markets.

After the formal launch, a growing fleet of vehicles is expected. Most of the cities will have more than hundreds of vehicles as Uber Air is working very closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The manufacturers are also a part of the team, and will all come together to make the vehicles available to the public at a large.

Distribution of Skyports

There is going to be a distributed network of Skyports that will serve as landing pads for the vehicles. Uber Air is also, however, planning to collaborate with certain airports in the future. The Skyports will be placed at distances between 32 kilometres to 96.5 kilometres from the main centres in the city.

These will be very useful for people who commute for at least 2 hours a day. Such huge travel times can be replaced with travel times of a mere 15 minutes.

How costly will the tickets be?

In the early days, the cost per ticket is definitely going to be higher. However, as time progresses, there will be a reduction in fares per person. With time, the fare is expected to be the same as that of an Uber Black.

What do you think about this technology? Are air taxis really the future of transport? Do let us know your views about the same.

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