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Uber Flying Taxi, Anyone?

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Uber Flying Taxi, Anyone?

Just as we were amidst getting used to the fact that autonomous self-driving vehicles are the way of the future, Uber has decided to take things a notch further by exploring the possibilities of coming up with flying cars.

Yes, you read that right - Flying cars.

According to a report in Bloomberg, necessary measures are already being taken by Uber, with the first being the appointment of veteran NASA aircraft engineer Mark Moore.

It said that Moore, who was once based at NASA’s Langley Research Centre, published a white paper in 2010 outlining the feasibility of electric aircrafts that could take off and land like helicopters but were smaller and quieter, providing an effective alternative to driving, especially during peak hours of the day.

The initiative, known as Uber Elevate, will be spearheaded by Moore who has been given the role as director of engineering for aviation at the ride-hailing company.

However, the report also states that Moore acknowledged that many obstacles stand in the way, and they’re not only technical. He says each flying car company would need to independently negotiate with suppliers to get prices down, and lobby regulators to certify aircrafts and relax air-traffic restrictions.

So, with Uber Elevate still in visionary stages, the company and Moore have laid out a radical vision for airborne commutes and identified technical challenges that need to be solved before the project enters the next phase - like noise pollution, vehicle efficiency and limited battery life.

Just to give you an idea on roughly how these flying cars will be, Moore told Bloomberg that these air taxis will have ranges of between 200 to 300 km, and can be partially recharged while passengers are boarding or exiting the aircraft.

He also predicts that we’ll see several well-engineered flying cars in the next one to three years and that there will be human pilots, before projects like Uber Elevate actually materialise. 

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