Recently, Uber announced plans to launch their Elevate project and introduced more details on electric flying taxis. To be able to launch the project, the company has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to develop software for the proposed flying taxis project. Therefore, together with NASA, Uber will develop the air traffic control system that will manage the low-flying taxi fleet.
At the Uber Elevate conference last week, the representatives of the company introduced three international launch cities. The first cities to ever have UberAIR app working will be Dubai, Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles. The plans are to launch the electric flying taxis in five-years time.
The first look of the design of the electric flying taxi was introduced. The taxi is supposed to carry 4 people per flight and have a 200 mile (about 322 km) radius. Moreover, the company plans to fly the taxis autonomously at some point in the future. But for now, the service will need human pilots to fly the vehicles.
The company also received the proposals of selected architecture firms that introduced the designs for Uber‘s autonomous flying taxi service. The requirements for the proposals were the following: all of the facilities had to be able to handle up to 4,000 passengers per hour within a 3-acre footprint. They also had to have suitable charging places for the VTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) as well as to provide as minimal environmental impact on the area as possible. The selected design proposals:Gannett Fleming: "The Paw" Pickard Chilton and Arup: "Sky Tower" Corgan: "Connect" The Beck Group: "The Hive" BOKA Powell: "Skyport Prototype"
As for now, Uber is targeting areas with large population for future locations for UberAIR – more than 2 million people have to live in the area with the density of 2,000 per square mile (about 2,6 square kilometers).