Uber plans to begin testing flying taxis in two cities by 2020

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Watch: Live stream coverage from the Uber Elevate Summit here.

The flying taxis will be small, zero-emission electric aircrafts that will be able to take off and land vertically. The company has already partnered with Hillwood Properties in Dallas-Fort Worth and is looking to partner with several real estate companies in Dubai in order to do this.

The company expects the cost of taking flying taxis to fall below auto ownership in the long run.

Uber said the project was to "enable customers in the future to push a button and get a high-speed flight in and around cities".

Uber's electric aircraft, which would be quieter, cheaper and less polluting than its nearest equivalent, the helicopter, would ultimately use autonomous technology, the company says, making it much safer by "significantly reducing operator error".


"Uber's Elevate network is an exciting opportunity for Bell Helicopter to help transform how cities move people and products in the future", Bell president and chief executive Mitch Snyder said in a statement.

On the OEM side, Embraer CEO Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva said his company is not only ready to pursue vehicle design, but also to assist in the necessary ATC infrastructure.

By utilising repurposed rooftops, existing helipads and unused land surrounding highway interchanges the proposed Uber Elevate Network is meant to provide affordable, on-demand urban transportation and delivery logistics services. Holden said the firm is targeting long-term pricing that is competitive with its current fees for hailing an Uber auto.

Uber is also partnering with the Dubai Road and Transport Authority to study demand in the region and work on pricing for the network. Holden added that Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has been tapped as the only other municipality in which the technological marvels will be tested. Present, Uber has estimating of over $60 billion and is one of the extremely talked-about companies in the world.

For that matter, plenty of observers noted that Uber may be relieved to have a chance to focus on futuristic visions instead of the present controversies engulfing it, such as a lawsuit over its self-driving auto project and accusations of toxic workplace culture and sexism.

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