Uber takes to the skies with next ride-hailing project

Uber takes to the skies with next ride-hailing project

Earlier this week, tech company Lilum showed the first footage of a successful take off and landing of their electric flying vehicle, and the internet promptly lost its collective mind.

Uber says the cost of a VTOL could eventually be as low as $1.32 a mile, in line with the current rate of an UberX vehicle. In addition, Uber envisions the production costs of such vehicles dropping as partner companies scale up manufacturing to levels similar to those in the auto industry.

Uber claims that these flying machines could be the key to ending millions of hours that are wasted by people sitting in traffic. Bell Helicopters, one of the largest manufactures of vertical takeoff aircrafts, said it's excited to start collaborating with Uber.

But of course, Uber also used the event to share its own ambitions for eVTOL aircraft and made several announcements about it. The aircraft aims to beat helicopters with two-fold speed.

You’ll be able to hail a flying Uber by 2020 as firm unveils plans for hovering taxis
Uber Elevate

Embraer is a global company headquartered in Brazil with businesses in commercial and executive aviation, defense & security.

The concept that Uber has developed for air-taxis comes from the X-Plane that Aurora is building for U.S. Department of Defense.

"Uber is taking a big step forward toward making the world's first VTOL network a reality and our partnership with Aurora Flight Sciences will help get us off the ground", said Mark Moore, Director of Engineering for Uber.

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

Читайте также: Google reveals 17-lense VR-ready camera

The surprise, as it turns out, is a prototype of the Kitty Hawk Flyer - a contraption that, alas, looks far less like anything from "The Jetsons" and more like the amalgam of a Jet Ski, a motorcycle arcade game and a giant drone.

Mooney: A Chinese-owned and US -based small aircraft manufacturer that has developed single-piston aircraft with an emphasis on flight efficiency and speed.

For the moment, the FAA is taking a "flexible, risk-based approach" to evaluating this evolving tech, especially when it comes to machines that would not require drivers to be pilots and instead fly themselves.

Uber, not satisfied with giving customers rides on land, is now looking to the skies. That is no small task given the daunting challenge of safely handling a surge in flying objects above densely populated urban areas. Google founder Larry Page is backing flying auto projects, Airbus has said it's working on a vehicle, Massachusetts-based Terrafugia plans to start shipping a flying auto in two years and Slovakia-based AeroMobil on Thursday starting taking pre-orders for a $1 million vehicle.

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