More on Flying cars

After weeks of public relations hell, Uber successfully changed the topic on Tuesday, revealing its plans for electrically powered flying vehicles by the year 2020.

The initiative dubbed the Uber Elevate Network envisions scenarios where computers would be able to fly vehicles from San Francisco to San Jose in about 15 minutes at the same pricing that Uber X rides are priced for the same duration.

It seems the company is hoping to reduce the pricing more considering the flying cars will be autonomous. According to Jeff Holden, Uber’s Chief Product Officer, “We think we can start this for roughly the cost of UberX, and we think it’ll get below the variable cost of car ownership.”


The firm’s clash with Apple pertaining fingerprinting smartphones which had deleted the Uber app put the brakes on possible self-driving vehicle ventures to flying cars.

Uber announced a number of partners in the potential UberAir endeavor like Dallas and Dubai as first cities for the pilot. Firms include manufacturer; Embraer, Aurora Flight Sciences and Bell Helicopter. Uber was also quick to announce a partnership with ChargePoint for the development of an exclusive vertical takeoff and landing charging system for the network.

More on Flying cars

Uber’s plans have been the envisioned dream for transportation for a number of decades. At the present, a dozen small and large technological companies are looking at VTOL craft. It may be easy to get excited about flying around town and saying goodbye to gridlock, though VTOL firms have to contend with government regulations, which at the moment, would need licensed pilots at the cockpit of any craft, not forgetting the concerns of consumers that are still feeling jittery on the concept of autonomous cars.

Uber has a value of $70 billion, at the present, which signifies that it has enough capital to spend on futuristic ventures such as the Uber Elevate Network. Though hefty spending on flying car programs comes at a time some investors are cutting on what they are willing to spend on the shares of the privately held firm by 15%.

Others in the aviation industry are skeptical concerning the practicality or desirability of flying taxi vehicles. The safety issues seem to be the most pressing at the moment considering the scenario of multiple proposed aerial vehicles in the skies above a heavily populated urban region.

Aviation consultant, Robert Mann, took a sociological approach stating, “Why would you ever want to be up in an aerial vehicle with the same people you roll your eyes at when they drive by on the street?”

Uber was quick to point out that it would iron out the safety issues before it starts demonstrations for a number of aircraft in Dallas by 2020. Three years later, the firm claimed it expects to have the new mode of transportation certified and available in the city of Dallas.

Why Dallas?

Apparently, the city has a great history in aviation. Bell Helicopter, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines are all based in the region. It seems the objective of the firm would be persuading the public by showing off electric flying vehicles with a high level of safety and an appealing look.

Uber revealed its ambitions in a three-day conference which drew aviation and tech officials. The firm has also been talking to city officials for a number of months as well as the ones with DFW international airport, Dallas Love Field Airport, and Fort Worth Alliance Airport.

[See More: Dubai Creates Fleet of Autonomous Taxi Drones]