Yesterday, Uber’s Elevate Summit kicked off, which revolves around vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles. During the opening keynote, the company shared some interesting details regarding its future plans for these so-called flying cars.
Uber has big ambitions, as it wants to test these vehicles in three years. The first public demonstration will be held in Dubai during the 2020 World Expo. Additionally, the company has also partnered up with the city of Dallas, where a pilot program will also be launched in the same year.
Uber obviously can’t do this alone. In hopes of reaching its goal of getting flying cars in the air within three years, it has announced a bunch of partnerships with companies from different industries. It’s working closely with Dubai’s road and transportation authority to figure out the potential demand in the region as well as pricing, among other things.
The company also joined forces with ChargePoint, which will develop the Uber Elevate battery charger, and local real estate companies that will help it find appropriate sites to build vehicle ports. As expected, Uber is also in talks with manufacturers already developing electric VTOL vehicles including Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer, Mooney, and Bell Helicopter.
Uber definitely has a lot of work as well as a bunch of challenges ahead if it wants to make its dreams a reality in a short period of time. The year 2020 is expected to be a time when fully self-driving cars might become a reality. Testing flying cars in the same year sound a bit too optimistic at this point, although it is still possible.