Cars, even autonomous, it’s a bit outdated. Uber thinks of the next shot, ie … flying taxis. It still looks like science fiction, but the company takes the lead.
During the second Elevate Conference in Los Angeles, Uber announced partnerships with several aircraft manufacturers: Embraer, Pipistrel Aircraft, Karem, Aurora Flight Sciences (a subsidiary of Boeing) and Bell (formerly Bell Helicopters) . An impressive list to embark on a sector where everything remains to be done: not only the development of flying taxis, but also the establishment of infrastructure, not to mention the regulations to adapt.
Taxis taking off and landing vertically
Uber focuses a lot on hardware, which is certainly the simplest in the short term, and the most profitable since these flying vehicles ignite the imagination. The (virtual) images that were unveiled at this conference bear witness to this. The VTC service explained that it wanted to work with partners able to meet specific specifications: vehicles must be powered by electricity, make as little noise as possible, and be able to take off and land vertically. .
It is also necessary that these manufacturers are able to quickly produce several tens of copies, if ever the success was at the rendezvous. Last fall, Uber announced the signing of a Space Act agreement with NASA to develop an air traffic control system that includes flying taxis.
The company and the US space agency continue their partnership through a simulation of the traffic of these vehicles in Texas airspace. It involves evaluating and analyzing problems such as collisions and air traffic jams.