Uber has revealed information about its air taxi program and disclosed a prototype of the electric aircraft that could be providing rides to future passengers, according to NBC News. Uber hopes to conduct test flights in 2020 in Dallas or Los Angeles, with actual service beginning as soon as 2023.
“We think cities are going to go vertical in terms of transportation and we want to make that a reality,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO.
The air taxi will take off and land like a helicopter, but will not be as loud since it runs on electricity. It will have a speed of 150 to 200 miles an hour and range up to 60 miles, according to Wired.
The air taxi contains four sets of horizontal rotors that are stacked for lift off and has a propeller on the tail. The prototype has room for four passengers and a pilot, although Uber hopes the air taxi will operate autonomously once its safety has been established.
The air taxis will be notified by a smartphone app, similar to the ones used for Uber cars, and passengers will be picked up and dropped off at “skyports” on top of buildings.
Uber has teamed up with NASA to acquire more information on air traffic and safety issues.
Some experts are expressing concern and doubts of an autonomous air taxi for the future of transportation.
Feature Photo Credit: A model of Uber’s “flying taxi,” an electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle, is displayed at the second annual Uber Elevate Summit on May 8 in Los Angeles. Robyn Beck / AFP-Getty Images
Filed Under: Rapid prototyping