Last week’s news that Uber were planning to launch UberAIR, a service that will take passengers to their destination by special aircrafts has gotten us rather excited here at HEKKTA. And the best part? They plan to begin tests in LA in just 3 years time. Fantasy is quickly becoming reality…
Many thought that the idea of taxis flying through the air picking and dropping people off would be years in the future, if possible at all. However, NASA and Uber are aiming to have the service fully operational for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. Additionally, the planes will be electric.
Jeff Holden, the head of product at Uber, said that a contract has been signed between the two companbies to develop low-flying aircrafts that are suitable for cities. They are also hoping to create a design that land and take off much the same as a helicopter.
“This Space Act Agreement paves the way forward for Uber to collaborate with NASA on the development of next-generation airspace management technology,” he said.
However questions still remain over the service. Safety in air travel is of paramount importance and will UberAIR have to have the same long screening processes before each flight as any regular flight? How will UberAIR regulate passengers to prevent terror attacks for example? The practicality and safety of air taxis remains to be seen, but Uber claim all you will need to board the flight is your Uber app; much the same as the taxi service currently in place. But surely air travel warrents stricter control than car travel?
But despite this, UberAIR promises a brilliant solution to the huge traffic problem for LA dwellers. This way they more than half their journey time and can fly over endless traffic with glee!
“In this case, technology will allow LA residents to literally fly over the city’s historically bad traffic, giving them time back to use in far more productive ways, whether more leisure time with friends and family or more time to work,” said Holden.
The Vertical Take-off and Landing aircrafts (VTOLs) can carry four passengers and share with other passengers similar to UberPool. Uber are working with Sandstone Properties, a real-estate investment company, to create the infrastructure such as landing and take off pads around the city.