On November 8th at Web Summit in Lisbon, Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden discussed his ambition of flying cars for twenty minutes with thousands of journalists and tens of thousands of attendees.
The company is taking its “Flying Cars” project pretty seriously. Hence, to make a successful start, Uber has teamed up with NASA, other aerospace, and property development partners.
It is also being said that the price for a VTOL aircraft will be competitive with Uber X.
“Realistically, there are a host of issues to work through in a short time. NASA was enlisted to create an air traffic control system that could allow liftoffs from numerous building rooftops without hindering commercial aviation or endangering the public,” Forbes wrote.
“The San Francisco-based transportation goliath has no intention of designing or building these things, instead hoping to catalyze the market, bringing together private and government parties to solve a pile of technical, regulatory, and infrastructural problems, from battery density to aircraft certification to air traffic control,” The Wired wrote.
Right now, Uber is dealing with a bunch of daunting challenges such as building a reasonable system for automating the check-in process and finding a real estate for the launch pads. Uber’s aircraft will be more like Osprey that take off like a helicopter and fly with an efficiency of an airplane.
In fact, Uber has some high profile partners like Bell Helicopter, Boeing, Mooney and Embraer.
“It is not surprising that a transportation company the size of Uber is looking to the skies for growth. Along with Elon Musk’s hyperloop project and a handful of other mass transit gambits, the airspace over urban areas is one of the few remaining possibilities for transformational growth in urban mobility. But the timeline seems impossible. Unless it isn’t,” Forbes wrote.
The company plans to start its aircraft taxi services in LA by 2020. Let’s see how it will roll out its “flying cars” services in such a short period of time when a bunch of intimidating problems are lying ahead.
“If you can do all those things,” says Jeff Holden, “you’ve got the potential for a new transportation method.”
“We’re just turning the corner now to make that possible. Our intent is to help the industry get there faster.”