As generally anticipated, the flying taxi service was at the center of the annual Uber Elevate conference. The ride-hailing company named the third pilot city for the Uber Air program. Air taxi services are planned to launch in 2023.
It’s still not known what exactly the riders will fly with, but we have give them the credit that Uber takes the implementation of flying taxis and urban air mobility seriously. The Uber Air project focuses on high-density metro areas with a population of more than 2 million people, or on polycentric regions, urban areas made up of multiple cities.
As a first step in its Uber Air operation in NYC, Uber starts to provide an airport charter by helicopter service between Lower Manhattan and the JFK airport from July 9th.
The company outlined a timetable of implementation at the third annual Uber Elevate conference. Uber Air test flights are expected in 2020. The exact vehicle have not been chosen yet, but the company has many irons on the fire.
Besides the regular suspects in the aviation industry, Uber newest partner and air taxi contender is Jaunt Air Mobility. The startup introduced its own eVTOL (electric air vehicle with vertical take-off and landing ability) concept at the conference. Jaunt Air has partnered with the well-established aviation products and services supplier Honeywell Aerospace.
If the right design(s) is chosen and trials are successfully finished, air taxi services will be launched in three pilot cities first, in Dallas, Los Angeles, and in Melbourne, Australia, in 2023 at the earliest. The fares are promised to be in the same price range as UberX premium rides.
Generally, the operation in Australia is one of the few markets that actually makes money for Uber. Melbourne may be a good first choice also because there isn’t a train line between the airport and the central business district.
Additional cities considered for commercial operations are Tokyo and Osaka in Japan, Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai in India, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, and Paris. Nothing from Uber for Southeast Asia, the company abandoned that market for good last year.