Uber thinks that flying around in your own aircraft one day may be cheaper than buying a car. The ride-sharing company names its aviation ambition Uber Elevate, and it hopes that its new "on demand air transportation" system catches on with today's tech-savvy consumers. To upstart the move, the company will first tackle another ambition which sees Singapore populated with flying taxis within 3 years.
The ride-sharing giant's new initiative stems from the idea that transportation needs a game-changing feature such as the advent of flying cars. More importantly, it wants to prepare an environment where it becomes cheaper than car ownership. Currently, its best bet is to model helicopters as its basis for a safe and fast-flying transportation.
Uber thinks that in this way, affordable flying cars can get its best chances to work in the real world where an accident can happen anytime and anywhere. With the helicopter's capability to take off and land vertically, plus with their cost-effectiveness, they have been proven the best alternative for small passenger loads. However, they are not energy-efficient, have high emission, and do not have good safety record.
So the ride-sharing giant and its rival Grab experimented with helicopter rides last year, looking for ways to modify and remove all of the helicopter's inefficiencies. According to Yahoo, this is how the development of VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) vehicles, showed its potential to shake up the transportation industry. Nikhil Goel, Head of Product for Advanced Programs at Uber Technologies, announced that the company will be working with VTOL-makers to build its fleet of passenger aircraft suitable in an urban setting.
Per Mashable, Goel adds that for its first roll out, Uber's flying cars initiative is targeting developed cities with dense traffic conditions such as San Francisco and Singapore. The company wants to test VTOL vehicle in Singapore where there is highest commuter traffic within three years. These hubs would likely be Changi Airport and the Central Business District.