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AFTER CABS AND FOOD SERVICE, UBER IS ALL SET TO RULE THE SKY

By Mukul Arora . 7th September 2018 02:30pm
AFTER CABS AND FOOD SERVICE, UBER IS ALL SET TO RULE THE SKY

After providing a mobile-based cab service to the world. Uber recently announced its new venture. Recently, Uber made an official announcement that it will be providing affordable intercity air cab services in few of the countries. The plan is to be executed under the Uber Elevate program. Initially, the company has planned to launch it in five different countries. The first five countries which will be connected by the service are Japan, Australia, Brazil, France and India. First launched in October 2016, Uber Elevate has developed into a partnership of experienced aircraft manufacturers, real estate and technology companies and even government agencies like NASA to create aircraft, infrastructure and SOPs for urban air mobility. The plan is to fly eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft on short distances of around 100 km, at speeds between 150-200 mph and cruising altitude of 1000-2000 feet on a single charge. Uber wants to de-hyphenate transportation from surface transport which has always been path-based. Air mobility is node-based and each node can be connected to any of the other nodes. Uber cites the examples of India, where CST to Mumbai airport or a Gurgaon to Connaught Place commute would be reduced to just 10 minutes, thus saving the users at least two hours every day. Uber’s estimate is that urban congestion costs India alone $22 billion a year. Uber is looking at a new type of aircraft for the Elevate programme. It is hoping that partner companies like Embraer, Bell, Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft and Karem will be able to come up with a sustainable prototype of an eVTOL aircraft by 2020. There are the skyports where the aircraft will take off and land as well as be charged and maintained. These skyports have to be in central locations for the concept to take off and that will have a huge cost implication. Uber is trying to tide over this by planning the skyports as vertical structures in contrast to traditional airports. The other major hurdle will be convincing city administration and aviation authorities to give the green signal for such a new concept. For now, Uber is suggesting that the Uber Air services will be restricted to an air corridor and won’t come in the way of other aircraft, especially since these are low flying. Well, we just hope that this service will change the way of transportation in coming years.