IN just 10 years, urbanites could be seeing flying taxis whizzing through the skies, thanks to Uber.
Why and how? Well, Uber recently revealed a prototype for an electric flying taxi.
Since the launch of Uber in 2009, the car-sharing platform has transformed the sharing-economy landscape.
But despite Uber insisting its platform would help take cars off the road by ridding the need of privately-owned autos, it has instead added around 500 million vehicle miles traveled in the US per year.
Hence, Uber is looking to make amends for this added congestion.
The prototype has combined helicopter and drone technology to create the vertical take-off and landing vehicle concept of eVTOL.
“Our goal is to radically improve global mobility,” Uber’s Aviation product chief Nikhil Goel told The Economic Times.
The new taxi will reportedly reach speeds of over 300kms an hour and fly 100kms on one full battery charge.
Uber and transport enthusiasts can expect to see the first demonstration flight in Los Angeles in the next two years.
The company hopes to be flying the taxis commercially by 2023 with users hailing these drone hybrids at the click of a button.
Just like Uber’s road cars, the platforms want to ensure the new service is affordable for all.
“We want to create the network around those vehicles so that regular people can take these taxis in the air for longer distances when they want to avoid traffic at affordable prices,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CBS This Morning.
According to The Economic Times, the initial flying taxis will be designed with a pilot at the controls, but over time they could become autonomous.
The challenges standing in Uber’s way now is control over inner-city airspace.
But Uber’s operations director, Jeff Holen doesn’t think this will be an issue.
“The technology exists… we can solve this today,” he told The Economic Times.
This article originally appeared on our sister site Travel Wire Asia.