UberAir Promises to Bring Urban Air Transport to the Masses

Uber has seen better days, what with their scandalous former CEO, and their recent lawsuits with Waymo, not to mention a fatality with their self-driving cars. However, the company presses on, with ambitious concepts that they say are going to transform the transportation landscape that we depend on everyday. Their most glamorous new project is UberAir, which they hope will be in full operation by 2023, and will transport passengers on 50-100 mile trips, using small,¬†vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. This plan doesn’t try to compete with traditional airlines, but rather to provide much more efficient travel in congested urban areas. The diagram below shows a typical route by car between San Jose and downtown San Francisco. Cars and taxis take well over two hours on busy weekdays. UberAir promises this 43 mile trip in 15 minutes, dramatically speeding up travel. Costs would initially be more expensive than the taxi ride, but are expected to drop quickly as the system scales up. It’s hard to argue with those numbers. Let’s just hope they thoroughly test their systems for safety. Initial systems will have human pilots, but the company plans a fully autonomous operation in the coming years. Flying cars might be closer than you think. ¬†More via Uber and Uncrate: