Uber, the famous transportation network company, is stepping its feet of air taxis to facilitate air transportation by avoiding road traffic. Uber’s first Air taxi model is ready to take to the skies by 2020.
This design has multiple propellers and stacked rotors. It will take off and land vertically. It will run on electricity which will be less expensive and more efficient. Its body is shaped similar to a plane and unlike a helicopter despite its effective landing in small spaces.
Dara Khosrowshahi, the CEO of Uber states that, “We want to create the network around those vehicles so that regular people can take these taxis in the air for longer distances when they want to avoid traffic at affordable prices”.
Mark Moore, the Engineering Director of Aviation at Uber said that, “Maintenance and pilots are the two most expensive things. That’s why we are pushing towards future autonomous solutions so that we can take that pilot out. But we’ll not do that until we know the software is safe. FAA (the US Federal Aviation Administration) rightly wants to see 5-10 years of pilot operation with background autonomy, before we can turn over these vehicles to full autonomous control. That is very reasonable and very similar to what we are doing with autonomous driving on the ground.”
According to Moore, the biggest challenge is the power batteries needed for the aircrafts and it will take 3-5 years to get such powerful batteries which allow the aircraft to go 90-100 kms, and the new chargers which can charge the batteries 30% to 80% in just five minutes so that Uber can provide the flights continuously with a quick charge.
Uber says that users can book these air taxes with an app as the Uber cabs and there goal is to be driverless and to keep the cost lower for the passengers by holding four riders per vehicle.