Here are 5 Countries to Test Uber Flying Taxi Services
First, there was Dallas and Los Angeles. Now Uber wants a third city to fly its air taxi service, and it's looking internationally.
Uber this week announced its shortlist for countries the ride-hailing app would work with to launch its aviation project UberAir, a flight-sharing network with electric vertical take-off and landing (e-VTOLs) aircraft.
According to Mashable, the planes are expected to cruise at about 320 km/h and reach about 300 to 600 meters. The electric planes will go 96km on a charge.
The countries were announced during the Uber Elevate Asia Pacific Expo in Japan. The list includes Japan and the cities of Tokyo and Osaka; India with Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore; Australia in Melbourne or Sydney; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Paris, France, where Uber already announced an Advanced Technologies Center to study and develop flying cars.
Uber picked the five countries based on such criteria as population and lack of extreme weather. Uber says it also wants "polycentric" regions (urban areas made up of multiple cities), and would rather work with cities that already cooperate smoothly with Uber on the street.
Barney Harford, chief operating officer of Uber, said to South China Morning Post that its flying taxi, or uberAIR, will be a new efficient means of transport which will save time.
Bloomberg reports that Japan has backed up developing flying cars and launched a public-private council, hoping the new vehicle will play a role in mountainous areas and remote islands as well as in the event of natural disasters.
During the expo in Japan, Uber presented potential flight paths for cities to show what it could look like when a customer orders a short plane ride from an app.
Here's a proposed trip near Tokyo from Haneda to Narita airports:
Uber says its e-VTOLs would take under 20 minutes to cover about 40 miles (what is usually nearly two hours by car). Uber also showed potential routes in Delhi, Mumbai, Seoul, Sydney, and Taipei.