a white paper that details its ambitions for what it’s calling Uber Elevate.Now as per our research we have found that the UBER has its aims set even higher. Much, much higher: it wants to build an on-demand urban aviation system for that they have hired NASA engineers in support of this project. That’s grown-up speak for flying cars—chosen, no doubt, to make the idea seem a little less preposterous. But Uber, it seems, is completely serious. In fact, it’s gone as far as publishing
In a lot of ways, getting society ready for personal autonomous aviation is simpler than driverless cars. Most commercial airliners already spend most of their time being controlled by an autopilot. There is already a system of air traffic controllers and government agencies who can monitor takeoff, landing, and flight paths to ensure autonomous aircraft don’t collide. And once you’re in the air, the chances your vehicle is going to run into an unexpected obstacle are much smaller than they are on busy city streets.
Its the name the company gave to its flying car project, but he will be helping smooth out many of its hurdles. Before joining Uber, his title was chief technologist for on-demand mobility at NASA’s Langley Research Center. In 2010, he produced a research paper outlining the feasibility of short-range, electric-powered VTOL aircraft called the “Puffin Electric Tailsitter.”
“Just as skyscrapers allowed cities to use limited land more efficiently,” it enthuses, “urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground.” Uber appears to be dreaming of what life will be like in the post-autonomous car future, when simply being able to work at the wheel isn’t good enough (but teleporters, sadly, haven’t yet been invented).
The company envisions journeys being made by a “network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically.” But just as Uber doesn’t build the cars that its drivers currently use, it also has no intention of building these vehicles either.