Travel: How Close Are We to Flying Taxis, Really? - PressFrom - US
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TravelHow Close Are We to Flying Taxis, Really?

01:10  13 june  2019
01:10  13 june  2019 Source:   cntraveler.com

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Which means, in many cases, flying can be a long-term, compelling alternative to traveling on the We 're not there yet, but we are a lot closer than you might think. So one of the first things we need is So, one of our teams at A3 wanted to see just how close this future really was . So they built and

Depending on how fast the aircraft flies , that probably isn't quite enough to transport passengers between nearby cities or across metropolitan areas The FAA said in a statement that it is taking a "flexible, open-minded, and risk-based approach" to flying cars. FAA officials have discussed with

How Close Are We to Flying Taxis, Really?© Courtesy Uber A rendering of an eVTOL flying in Melbourne. By 2023, you’ll be zipping from Los Angeles’s Long Beach to Santa Monica, from downtown Dallas to Fort Worth’s stockyards, or from central Melbourne to suburban Geelong in minutes, zooming at 150 mph or so over trafficked highways in a flying taxi—if Uber has its way. The high-tech dream will happen in one of their electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, which take off and land like a helicopter but conserve energy by gliding like an airplane once they’re in the air, and should cost the same price per mile as an Uber Black ride. One day, Uber hopes that “it will be more economically rational for you to fly than it will be for you to drive,” says Eric Allison, head of Uber’s Elevate flying taxi program. But what can we really expect in 2023? That fantasy might not quite be reality—but actual flying taxis aren’t out of the question.

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Flying taxis promise to ease traffic on the ground, but some worry they'll boost inequality. How I and others drive will create training data for the artificial intelligence that'll take over much of the job. And Uber, his partner, is really well-connected. While fighting the legacy taxi industry, Uber made so

They envision tens of thousands of one or two-person flying taxis delivering passengers to the And some, like the Vahana, a cockpit mounted on a sled and flanked by propellers in front and back, don't really look like any aircraft in the skies today. In response to " How close are we to flying cars?," I

Since it launched Uber Elevate in 2016, the company has been touting Tron-like renderings of the electric flying taxi concepts pitched by its partners, like Embraer, Bell, Boeing’s Aurora, and more. Some of them have fan-like propellers, others look remarkably like helicopters, and one has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. Yesterday, at its annual Elevate conference, the company showcased its designs for the aircraft interiors, with seats angled for maximum views and high-tech fabric that makes sliding across the row even easier.

Renderings of Skyports, spread throughout the initial test cities of Los Angeles, Dallas, and Melbourne, show hundreds of eVTOL aircraft taking off and landing on automated elevators that bring passengers down to disembark closer to ground level. They’re urban utopias that would fit into the same futuristic vision that you’ll see in Singapore’s Changi airport today.

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How affordable might these phantom air taxis be ? Related: Uber’s New Air Taxi Boss Built Flying Cars For Larry Page. Audacious by nature, these flying car claims are especially He described to me a vision for electric planes quite close to what Uber and rival companies like Airbus are now developing.

Will flying taxis be forever science fiction or a reality in the skies of our cities? This year several potential manufacturers of flying taxis have announced plans in the UAE, and Dubai in particular. These projects have all captured headlines, but a more reliable measure of how seriously they should

In actuality, the first generation of Uber’s flying taxis will likely look more like electric, or even hybrid, helicopter-like aircraft taking off and landing on parking garage roofs that have been retrofitted with landing pads and Uber lounges—rather than new, glass-clad builds. That is, as soon as the flying vehicles actually get approved.

eVTOL aircraft are already running tests, like hovering for less than a minute and landing, and Uber has intentions of running test flights by late next year. But everyone will still have to wait on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify the flying machines. And the FAA isn’t rushing to put flying taxis in the sky—for good reason.

“In the past 10 years, we’ve had more than 90 million commercial flights in the NAS [National Airspace System], carrying more than seven billion people—with one fatality,” says Daniel Ellwell, the FAA’s acting administrator. “That’s a safety record that’s hard to get your mind around in any human endeavor, much less one where you’re carrying humans in highly advanced aerospace vehicle.”

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UberAir believes that pilotless flying taxis can be twice as safe as driving a car the same distance – which means that society Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate.

And, figuring out how to handle thousands of new low- flying aircraft over cities without collisions and developing batteries that will keep them aloft long enough to be useful. But entrepreneurs are moving forward. They see a vast potential market for "air taxis " and personally owned small aircraft.

Adding those 150-mph flying taxis to that industry will take time. “I put on my FAA regulatory hat and I got a whole new bucket of stuff to worry about,” says Ellwell. "I see car-sized vehicles with multiple rotors hanging over dense urban populations. We have to ensure that safety is paramount.”

So, relatively patiently, Uber and its partners are cooperating with the federal agency to push things forward as quickly as possible, while keeping safety at top of mind. “The FAA is working as fast as it can,” says Kate Fraser, Uber’s head of policy for aviation. “They realize that they have to address [eVTOL aircraft] and they have to do something [to regulate them] or they’ll be so far behind. The U.S. will lose leadership if we don’t stay on top of this urban aviation system.”

How Close Are We to Flying Taxis, Really?© Courtesy Uber Uber's eVTOL aircraft.

That said, 2023 is still a feasible timeline for the first commercial flights, according to Fraser. “This ecosystem is evolving to the point that this will happen,” she says.

Uber is far from the only company working on eVTOL aircraft. As we’ve previously reported, companies like Rolls-Royce and Airbus and people like Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet, Google's parent company, are working on prototypes of their own. But Uber thinks its current driving business gives it a leg up, as the only company with the infrastructure to make flying taxis work and the customers to fill them in the near future. And that’s where helicopters come in.

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So how close are we really ? There's a lot of hardware created in the last few years that give us a glimpse at a fully realized virtual world, but it's still not all integrated and nowhere near as advanced as in Ready Player One. Today's 19-year-old Wade Watts can't have a full O.A.S. I . S . rig, but in another

How would they deal with flying taxis ? The details of the future service are far — very far — from being ironed out. A rendering of the CityAirbus, which can The company has landed exclusive deals for vertical takeoff and landing spots with real estate companies, including in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Because Uber already has data on our travel habits—when we’re traveling, where we’re going, how long it’s taking us—from existing Black, X, and Pool rides, it can drive consistent passengers to choose the flying option, according to Stan Swaintek, Uber Elevate’s director of operations. And that’s exactly what it plans to test with Uber Copter, which in July will ferry travelers from downtown Manhattan to JFK. Uber thinks it’ll have plenty of interest, since it’s already a busy route. “On a busy day, there are 10,000 riders who depend on Uber for transport between JFK and Manhattan,” says Swaintek. “Uber Copter, which takes eight minutes, can save some of those riders an hour of their time.”

With this data, the app will be able to decide what time of day to make service available, which routes to prioritize, and which riders, based on their location, are best served with aerial ride sharing, so that no one is left waiting around in the helicopter lounge in downtown Manhattan and every helicopter is running at capacity. And adding Uber’s software into the mix isn’t as high a risk as, say, manufacturing a brand new mode of transportation. “The technology behind the scenes [of Uber Copter] is new, but the aircraft, the infrastructure, and the flight standards are not,” says Swaintek. (Charter company Blade also offers by-the-seat rides from Manhattan to JFK airport, but doesn’t provide transport to the helicopter pad.)

Launching Uber Copter is the first step towards the “multi-modal” universe Uber and other similar companies like Lyft are striving for. It means that your journey from a car to a helicopter (or flying taxi someday), back to car, or electric bike, or public transport, is seamless. It’s also, in theory, mapped and ticketed in a single app.

It’s the real world system that the company needs to figure out before it can possibly launch and continuously fill four-seat flying taxis in just four years. Even if everything goes according to plan, Uber’s eVTOLs may take off in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne—but that’s still several steps away from The Jetsons future the company is touting.

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