Uber reaches for the skies with plan for sleek flying taxi

This computer generated image provided by Uber Technologies on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 shows a flying taxi by Uber. Commuters of the future could get some relief from congested roads if Uber’s plans for flying taxis work out. The ride-hailing service has unveiled an artist’s impression of the sleek, futuristic machine it hopes to start using for demonstration flights in 2020 and deploy for ride-sharing by 2028. (Uber Technologies via AP)

LISBON, Portugal — Commuters of the future could get some relief from congested roads if Uber’s plans for flying taxis work out.

The ride-hailing service unveiled Wednesday an artist’s impression of the sleek, futuristic machine it hopes to start using for demonstration flights in 2020. The company aims to have its first paying passengers in various cities around the world by 2023, though the plan still faces major hurdles.

The battery-powered aircraft looks like a cross between a small plane and a helicopter, with fixed wings and rotors. It was presented at an international technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

The vehicle is intended to soar over traffic congestion, sharply reducing city travel times. Uber hopes it will eventually become a form of mass transport and cost commuters less than using their own car, though initially it will be more expensive than that, Uber’s Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said.

The scheme still faces plenty of challenges, including certification by authorities, pilot training and conceiving urban air traffic management systems that prevent collisions.

 

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Sat, 11/18/2017 - 17:42

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