Business

Uber’s new passenger drone

Uber is taking its urban air ride-sharing plans global, announcing a new trial that will launch in Australia, along with a new aviation partner to develop suitable aircraft.

Uber first unveiled its Uber Air ride sharing concept in 2017, and has been continuously developing the idea, which it calls the future of transport.

Uber said that as early as 2023, customers will have access to flights on-demand with Uber Air in Dallas, Los Angeles, Melbourne.



“We are looking for cities with aspirational vision who are investing in their transportation systems and wish to bring Uber Air to market for their residents as quickly as possible. These cities will be the first to offer Uber Air flights with the goal to begin demonstrator flights in 2020 and commercial operations in 2023,” the group said.

Melbourne will become the third world city to test the new air ride-sharing service in 2020, the group announced this week, with more Australian cities to follow, if successful.

To deliver on its high-tech concept, Uber has partnered with six aviation groups to develop passenger aircraft that can be used in urban environments.

The latest company to partner with Uber is Jaunt, which joins Bell, Embraer-X, Boeing’s Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions and Karem Aircraft in designing prototypes for Uber’s plans.

It is envisioned that air ride-sharing will be made possible through a network of ‘skyports’ that will be able to handle as many as 1,000 landings per hours, in a dense space.

Uber showcased its new passenger drone vehicle at its Elevate conference in Washington DC on Tuesday.

The company revealed the design for its flying taxi cabin, which was built in partnership with Safran Cabin and is designed to seat up to four passengers.