Flying taxis? Could be in Sydney sooner than you think

Flying taxis? Could be in Sydney sooner than you think

Uber is Elevating

Site: Lucie Clark

Five minutes from Bondi to the City? The flying transport arm of Uber, Elevate, says this just might be possible

Flying transport has always been 'the future' as imagined by sci-fi movie and TV makers - even back in 1962 when family sci-fi comedy show The Jetsons premiered, flying cars were how everyone in 'the future' got around. And yet, unless you're a mega-rich billionaire with your own helicopter and easy-to-access heli pad, transport is still limited to the traffic-congested ground.

But this may not be the case in the near-ish future. Uber's planned on-demand flying transport network, Elevate, is looking at Sydney as one the first cities to launch in. 

At an Uber conference held in April this year, the ride-sharing company revealed concrete plans for how this whole flying car thing would work including timelines (aiming for an initial launch in Dallas and Dubai in 2020) and partnerships with Embraer, Bell Helicopter and Aurora Flight Sciences who will manufacture the flying transports.

The flying ride-share carriers are slated to be vertical take-off and landing vehicles that - in the drawing board stages - look more like helicopters and will use 'vertiports' for pick-up and drop-off in the city. And once they've got enough scale, a ride won't be too expensive with reports the price will be around the same number of dollars as an UberX.

Uber Elevate rendering

In excellent news for traffic-scarred Sydney-siders, Uber's chief product officer Jeff Holden recently visited Sydney and told The Australian Financial Review, "We're looking for congested cities that have a particular geographic pattern that lends itself to it... We have no bias in terms of geographic location and it doesn't need to be near the US. Sydney is a clear option."

Holden also gave a timeline of 2023 for lift off in our harbourside city which will totally change the game for gridlocked morning and evening commutes.

Flying taxis? Could be in Sydney sooner than you think (фото 1)

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