When it was announced earlier this year that Uber was planning to roll out flying taxi’s in the next five years, we were skeptical. Nevertheless, the ride-sharing service has stuck to its word with UberAIR trials set to commence on home soil. Entering discussions with local and federal government, the futuristic concept could come to life in central business districts across Australia.
Announced via the Australian Financial Review, the first UberAIR demonstrations could occur as early as next year with further developments to come throughout the next five years. Talking to Uber’s global head of aviation, Eric Allison, it is believed that Melbourne may be the first city of choice within the country, following strong support coming from the heads of Victoria.
“We want to go to a place where there is a demand for it and that has the need for it. [The city] has to have enough population density, but also a large geographic area so you end up with … development patterns that lead to congestion,” he told AFR.
“It also needs to have a strong ground-based [Uber] business … and we also look at the weather, the local regulatory environment in terms of skyport permissions, what the electricity grid looks like, local real estate partners and then at the national level the aviation regulatory environment.”
Partnering with Bell Helicopters, Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer, and Mooney to build the aircrafts and meet regulations, the service could cost as little as an Uber Black fare. It is said that commuters in the Melbourne area could arrive to the airport in five minutes, while a trip to Geelong could take as little as 14 minutes with the new service.
With the future of transport just around the corner, look to the sky in the coming years for UberAir.