Video courtesy Uber
A year ago, news of Uber expanding their automated car service into air travel spread around the tech world. They have just released more information on their uberAir service, which will utilize remotely piloted drones to take travelers to the sky. Uber has already announced that they plan to have their aircrafts in the air in Los Angeles and Dallas by the year 2020.
These “flying cars” are essentially helicopter and drone hybrids, with four propellers for aerial height and a back rotor that will take this aircraft the distance. As for speed, Uber’s new vehicle can move between 150 and 200 miles per hour, flying between 1,000 and 2,000 feet – meaning you can avoid all of the time consuming and energy zapping traffic. The drone can carry four passengers, excluding the pilot, and only travel up to 60 miles before the batteries must be recharged for five minutes. Uber riders can call their ride using the app and meet the drone at a ”Skyport” on the roof of a designated building. They plan on having Skyports scattered around city high-rises where they will support about 200 takeoffs per hour.
Image courtesy Uber
2020 is only two years away, so Uber has a lot of work ahead of them before this service is available to the public. If the technology hasn’t advanced enough by that time to make large human-carrying drones possible, then Uber will have to put their futuristic idea on hold. This concept does have us day dreaming about casually travelling through the sky without a formal plane ticket, or a trip through the TSA line. Can you imagine the day when you can 10 miles during rush hour and get there in 5 minutes instead of 1 hour? There is still a question of how much these flying taxis will cost, and whether the service will be accessible to the public. The company’s uberLux service is already cost prohibitive for many people, so we can only imagine what the uberAir fare will be. We’ll have to wait until 2020 to see if we can catch a ride, or if we should just call request an uberPOOL.