Uber is developing electric flying cabs - and a network for them.
While at its "Elevate" summit, Uber revealed plans for a "vertical take-off and landing" (VTOL) vehicle. Uber sees these so-called flying cars as the future. Uber said it'll demonstrate VTOL and its Elevate Network in 2020. Right now, everything seems to be in the concept stages, as Uber spent most of its keynote talking about how it is cultivating the partners it needs to bring "Elevate Network" to fruition.
It is working with the cities of Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai to launch pilot programs. Uber has also partnered with Dubai's road and transportation authority to take a closer look at the needs of the metropolitan area in order to optimise pricing and network. Thanks to this study of the city, Dubai is expected to be the place where Uber unveils its first public demonstration during the 2020 World Expo.
Uber has also partnered with ChargePoint to develop the Uber Elevate battery charger so the VTOL vehicles can quickly charge upon landing. Uber is further hoping to work with local real estate companies on building vehicleports. And, of course, it's looking at aircraft manufacturers that are already developing electric VTOL vehicles. Those include Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, and Embraer.
Uber is also looking at Mooney and Bell Helicopter. All these companies were selected by Uber because they have the expertise required to help Uber complete Elevate Network sooner rather than later. Uber has dreamed of a future where customers can travel via VTOL from the airport to a hotel in just a few minutes instead of an hour. It all seems like lofty ambitions, but Uber appears determined.