Uber hopes to have flying taxis by 2020
Uber bosses are to hold crucial talks with transport and safety officials within days as they work to launch their flying taxis within just two years.
The global transport firm will mount a charm offensive with the US government at its crucial ‘Elevate’ summit being held in Los Angeles.
Uber has headhunted top NASA experts over the last 12 months to push ahead with its plans to launch the world’s first fleet of affordable flying taxis.
The 200mph flying cars will use helicopter-style rotors to take off and land vertically, but use fixed wings over longer distances.
Uber say the service will be cheaper and faster than existing taxi services, upending urban transport and addressing growing congestion fears.
On Tuesday, Elaine Chao, the US transportation secretary and Daniel Elwell, of the Federal Aviation Authority, will hear Uber outline its plans to begin aerial tests in cities including LA, Dallas and Dubai in 2020.
It believes that an aerial taxi service will be available to the public within five years and will eventually become a common way of commuting across cities.
Uber has said the vehicles will be controlled by pilots at first, but will ultimately be autonomous and battery-powered, reports the Telegraph.
The cost of flights could eventually be cut to only 50c (35p) per mile – equivalent to the current cost of driving. It is too early to say how much customers will be charged.
However, journeys that at the moment take up to an hour and a half could be reduced to just a 15-minute trip.
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