It all sounds so perfect, but will it ever work? Uber’s Elevate program is said to create a global urban aerial ridesharing service. Starting in 2023, Uber customers will be able to push a button and get a flight on-demand and at an affordable rate.
To enable this Uber have assembled a network of partners that include vehicle manufacturers, real estate developers, technology developers and more. Only this week partnerships with both the US army and NASA have been announced.
To bring uberAIR to market, Uber plan to partner with three ‘launch cities’. This, Uber say, will allow for a “balance between focus and city diversity that will set the service up for long-term success.” Dallas and Los Angeles were previously announced as the first two launch cities, and now Uber are seeking an international city as the third partner. These three cities will be the first to offer uberAIR flights, with the goals of operating demonstrator flights starting in 2020 and beginning commercial operations in 2023. Could we see UberAIR in London or elsewhere in the UK? The international opportunity is open to ANY city outside the US. However, with space at a premium in most UK cities the possibility of airport stations remain minimal. Airspace regulations also remain tight especially over built up areas which could provide a long term stumbling block even if the technology is successful.