Uber plans flying cars to beat jams

A view of the cockpit as Aero Mobil unveils the latest prototype of a flying car in Monaco Thursday
A view of the cockpit as Aero Mobil unveils the latest prototype of a flying car in Monaco Thursday
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26 April, 2017

Uber announced at its first ever Elevate conference in Dallas today that the company has partnered with the world's largest charging network ChargePoint to create rapid-charging stations for Uber's planned network of on-demand flying electric cars that will be capable of vertical take-off and landings.

But Uber's new partnerships with reputable aviation companies-as well as preexisting collaborations with federal agencies such as NASA-shows the tech giant is willing to kickstart the worldwide conversation on flying taxis in a big way. "It's really easy to demonize a vehicle", Holden says.

Uber is taking to the skies with its next project — "flying cars" — even as all eyes are on its problems on the ground.

You may not realise it, but flying-cars are slowly becoming all the rage and are very much seen as being the next big thing in transport.

. There are no prices yet, only a three-year membership for $100 that promises "priority placement on the Kitty Hawk Flyer customer wait list" and $2,000 off whatever the Flyer's retail price ends up being.

Forget self-driving cars, what about flying cars?

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Flying taxis would cut down travel time between San Francisco's Marina to downtown San Jose to 15 minutes, compared with the more than two hours it takes by road, Uber estimates, at a cost to passengers only a little higher than an UberX. Instead, the tech giant believes the demand for a faster aerial commuting option already exists among its 60 million monthly users-especially if the flying taxi service can cost about the same as hailing an UberX vehicle. Uber is working on developing an exclusive charger for its network.

Uber's flying auto plans are coming together - and it looks like it won't be taking to the skies alone.

"Uber's Elevate network is an exciting opportunity for Bell Helicopter to help transform how cities move people and products in the future". The startup backed down last month, finally obtaining a permit and bringing its autonomous vehicles back to California. Dallas and Fort Worth's mayors respectively both support this project, and share the goal of making the Dallas-Fort Worth area the first US location for an on-demand flying vehicle service.

Despite a history as a fixed-wing aircraft developer, Embraer's Business Innovation Center in Melbourne, Florida, also announced a preliminary partnership with Uber to explore the development of small electric VTOL aircraft for short commutes. The Texas hubs are located at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and in the vicinity of downtown Dallas, downtown Fort Worth, UT-Dallas and the city of Frisco.


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