Everyday we waste so many hours stuck in traffic that it’s not even funny. Time is money and we could easily use this time to do other productive things like working or spending time with our friends and family. However, Uber has been working diligently to help us all overcome this massive problem. The transportation company recently held its Elevate Summit where they spoke about uberAIR- the next big thing in aerial ride sharing.
Flying cars were a thing of future, but Uber has now put it into gear. This is in the form of electrical vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOL). Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has spoken about the company’s ambitious plans to develop and deploy air taxis by 2023. The program which is called Uber Elevate is an umbrella term which encompasses all aerial services that can be provided like uberAIR and possibly food delivery.
However, the global transportation network company is aware of the fact that it requires a lot of work as well as help from outside to make this dream come true. In order to launch this, Uber needs actual vehicles, skyports for them to land on, and batteries to operate those vehicles.
For the vehicle, Uber has partnered with a couple of companies from the aerospace industry. Embraer and Pipistrel Aircraft are two aircraft manufacturers that are working with Uber. They released new concept images of aircraft they plan on building for the ride-hailing company’s ambitious project. California based, Karem has also been working on a prototype for the same.
Uber also needs skyports for these vehicles to land. This is where Gannet Fleming and Corgan come in. They showed off their design of a skyport which looks as if its straight out of a Star Wars movie.
Lastly Uber needed help for the batteries that would power these vehicles. They tied-up with E-One Moli, which will put its battery technology in the air taxi. These battery are high powered and allow the vehicle to travel up to 84miles at one charge. For the charging port, Uber partnered with ChargePoint, who will help the company with this service.
Other than these basic issues, Uber also needs to worry about some other problems; mainly, air traffic control and regulation of these air taxis. A lot of work needs to be put, however, Khosrowshahi is confident and said, “What we bring to the table here is building this to not be a service for the few but a service that is ultimately available for mass market.”
By Abhishek Aggarwal