Uber, the worldwide-known ride-hailing company that offers different ride options through its mobile app, and now offers a new ride to go around the city.
According to a report from BBC News, Uber selected to bring its flying taxi service to Australia, making its first international market for the said service.
One of the cities Uber chosen for test flights due to start in 2020, which is declared as the third to be so, is the city of Melbourne. Other cities chosen are Dallas and Los Angeles in the United States. According to Uber, the target commercial launch of operations is starting in 2023.
Called Uber Air, the flying taxi service is the company’s “option of an affordable shared flight” through a network of small, electric, aircraft in densely populated areas. Uber said that the aircraft can fit four riders.
The service provides the riders “the option to take shared VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft as one leg of their journey, effortlessly riding between conveniently located Skyports, from ground to air to ground,” according to Uber’s website.
Uber said the advantages of its Uber Air will increase air mobility as well as decrease traffic congestion within cities.
“As major cities grow, the heavy reliance on private car ownership will not be sustainable,” said Eric Allison, global head of the firm’s aviation division Uber Elevate, told BBC News.
“Uber Air holds enormous potential to help reduce road congestion.”
Mr Allison said a trip from Melbourne’s central business district to the airport, with a distance of 19 kilometres, will only take its flying taxi service around 10 minutes. Compared to cars, a trip by road in the same distance will take up to an hour.
The ride-hailing company is working together with NASA and the US Army regarding the test flights. On the other hand, Uber is also working with aircraft manufacturers Embraer and Pipistrel Aircraft.
Seeing that there are new travel operations soon to be made available in Melbourne, it opens new opportunities for people to open up businesses or become strategic in serving people willing to ride flying taxi service. Uber is not the only company partaking into the flying taxi service as other tech firms are also conducting their tests in other countries.
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