Bell Helicopter teams with Uber to create flying electric taxis

A sign is seen during a news conference to announce Uber resumes ride-hailing service in Taipei

According to The Verge, Uber announced a series of partnerships at its Elevate summit, with everyone from aviation manufacturers to electric charging companies to real estate firms in addition to pairing up with several cities, investing millions of dollars into commercializing the chargeable helicopters. They will also have zero emissions and will be quiet enough to operate in cities.

Although Uber customers think nothing of paying more for their ride home than they do with regular taxis, Cedric Pinto from the Philippines said the cost of booking a flying cab would most probably put off all but the most well-heeled people. Anyone else finding this all a bit suspish?

Uber is among a bevy of well-funded companies pursuing the sci-fi vision of flying cars.

Well, if anyone can do it, it's probably Travis Kalanick.

Flying cars have been a Sci-Fi prediction since rubber first hit the road with the street automobile, but the fantasy of flying cars has always been just that - a fantasy.

Somewhat ironically, Holden said Uber also would bring its expertise on working with government and communities, because it already has relationships with regulatory authorities.

Uber is working with Volvo and Daimler for its road-based automated auto technology, but it's not clear if it'll be working with other partners for its air vehicles. And Chargepoint, the largest operator of electric-vehicle charging stations, will figure out how to top off the batteries.

Uber also announced a handful of partnerships with aviation companies to develop and deliver a flying vehicle.

Uber hopes to debut its network of flying cars at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai and have "full-scale operations by 2023".

The partnership agreement provides the basis for a system of urban transportation solutions that will enable users of the Uber Elevate Network to request an Aurora eVTOL aircraft via Uber's computer or mobile software apps. Uber is now working with aerospace firms such as Aurora, Embraer, Bell Helicopter, Mooney and Pipistrel to develop the aircraft which would be piloted by trained staff.

Holden acknowledged "UberAir" would be dependent on creation of new vertical takeoff and landing technology enabling aircraft to rely on electric propulsion to reduce the cost, noise and overall shortcomings of helicopters.


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