What About An Air Taxi?
Why keep driving on crowded streets and traffic jams when the skies are almost free?
The scenario looks like that of a science fiction movie, but for Uber it represents a true business model.
has shown it with the wide interest in flying taxis and the latest “Copter” service which will soon be launched in New York City.
Underlining this ambitious strategy was the head of the Uber Elevate division, Eric Allison, saying that one day it will be cheaper Uber Air than a traditional four-wheel version.
The manager also clarified that such a transition will not take place in a short time, that the costs will therefore be initially unbalanced in favor of the current services…
Only some years later, when we have completely autonomous electric vehicles available, will this transition take place.
But Uber Air will also be cheaper than a helicopter ride from the first day of launch, in the short term even comparable to Uber X and Uber Pool, the least expensive of the available plans.
According to Allison, the real convenience will therefore come in the long term which, translated, means at least 5 years after Air’s debut.
The New Uber Electric Flying Taxi
Air Taxi & Company Plans
However it’s not clear which new technology will be available, in the near future, for the vehicles involved.
This will be crucial, together with the reliability of the aircrafts for the success of the air taxi business scenario.
Said that, before convincing the customers, Uber will need – and it could be really difficult – all the green lights from the bodies that regulate the movements in the sky, i.e. the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin with.
The overall plan foresees tests from next year and entry into service from 2023.
Who knows what the sector categories will say at that point, if Uber has (so far) lost the challenge in some countries on the asphalt could soon make up in the clouds…
The New Uber Flying Taxi Cabin
Unmanned air taxi, first test in Europe for the autonomous drone
A market value of $336,000, 16 propellers, a weight of 750 pounds, should be able to carry up to two passengers.
We are talking about the EHang 216, the autopilot-drone taxi, tested in 2019 for the first time in Europe, in Vienna.
The aircraft would now be a reality, ready to be mass-produced; it should fly up to 150 kilometres per hour for almost half an hour, reaching a distance of 35 kilometres.
This was said today, on the day of this air taxi christening, by Derrick Xiong, co-founder of the Chinese drone manufacturer EHang.
The objective of the strategic partnership between the Austrian company FACC, owned by the Chinese aerospace group AVIC, and China’s EHang is to offer short-range passenger services, industrial equipment and urgent medical deliveries.
Air taxi is an innovative way to beat traffic and avoid congestion, especially in chaotic cities.
The drone, according to FACC CEO Robert Machtlinger, will be able to travel between 50 and 70 kilometres depending on the cargo.
Among the defects highlighted by the presentation participants would be a cabin that is too small, uncomfortable for taller passengers…
In the meantime, there would already be several thousand orders received by the Austrian company for the drone, the highest demand would come from China, although problems could arise due to a regulatory deficiency, as explained by FACC:
“Flying without a pilot is possible, it is not a dream, it already exists. What prevents us from entering large volumes is regulation.
A future legal framework for stand-alone flying vehicles should regulate communication with other aircraft and helicopters and provide traffic rules”.
The Austrian Transport Minister Norbert Hofer, who was present at the inaugural flight of this air taxi, promised an international effort to get to the regulation of the sector quickly.
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