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Uber plans to introduce flying taxis in one major US city

UberAir plans to make flying cars a reality by 2020. The car will take off like a helicopter but will still fly on wings similar to an airplane. (Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images)

What is Uber planning?

Uber's new Elevate program plans to introduce a new option for an Uber ride: UberAIR.

Uber Aviation Director Mark Moore shared details of the design at an industry conference last week, explaining that the car will take off like a helicopter but will still fly on wings similar to an airplane. The company is currently working with five different companies on the design of the flying cars.

Where are they introducing the flying cars first?


When will the program launch?

Uber plans to have demo flights up and running by 2020 and ready for customer use by 2023. By 2025, they hope to expand to five or more cities. In 2030, Uber believes they will be able to operate without pilots.

Where will the vehicles land?

Uber plans to build their own Vertiports, hubs where they could take off and land, on top of existing parking garages, making it more cost effective and allowing them to get it done in a shorter amount of time.

Moore used AT&T Stadium and Toyota headquarters as two examples of locations with existing parking garages that could be constructed into Vertiports.

Will it cost more than a standard Uber ride?

The company said its goal is to make the two options comparable in price and hopes to eventually serve up to 100,000 people per city per day.

What else is Uber doing right now to plan for UberAIR?

In addition to designing the flying cars, Uber is monitoring existing community noise levels with noise sensors in the area to make sure its machines won't be loud enough to cause complaints. "The objective is to achieve low enough noise levels that the vehicles can effectively blend into background noise; ultimately we believe VTOLs should be one-half as loud as a medium-sized truck passing a house," the company wrote on its website.

Uber is also working with the FAA to make sure its finished product will be FAA certified.

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