Are drone taxis part of an undefined era - a farfetched future? Or is this technology closer than we think? We did some investigation and had a deep dive into the research Uber has been doing on this topic.
Flying taxis with trained pilots are the first solid base for a potentially efficient and safe place for on-demand urban autonomous aerial transport. Uber, being the initiator of Annual Uber Elevate Summit with its second edition on 8-9 May in Los Angeles, California, has a clear vision on this matter at hand.
“On-demand aviation, has the potential to radically improve urban mobility, giving people back time lost in their daily commutes,” Uber says. “We are close to the commute pain that citizens in cities around the world feel. Just as skyscrapers allowed cities to use limited land more efficiently, urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground.”
Uber continues: “Ultimately, if VTOLs (Vertical Take-off and Landing aircrafts) can serve the on-demand urban transit case well—quiet, fast, clean, efficient, and safe—there is a path to high production volume manufacturing. With at least thousands of a specific model type built per year it will enable VTOLs to achieve a dramatically lower per-vehicle cost. The vision portrayed above is ambitious, but we believe it is achievable in the coming decade if all the key actors in the VTOL ecosystem— regulators, vehicle designers, communities, cities, and network operators—collaborate effectively.”