Uber Could Launch Flying Cars As Early As 2020
Welcome to the future.
Picture the scene. You grab your keys, your bag, run out the door, and jump into your uber - which happens to be of the FLYING CAR variety. ‘I’m 20 mins away’, you text your friends, as you literally take off into the literal skies.
Sounds like something from YA fiction or a Tom Cruise film, right? But this could actually be reality by as early as 2020, according to Uber - who revealed new info about their UberAir program - a partnership with actual NASA - at a summit last week.
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This included some jazzy mock-up images of the flying cars, which have 5 propellers, and can carry a maximum of 4 passengers.
“The design is pedestrian friendly, as the propeller blades are as high as possible, leaving ample room for individuals to board and de-plane without having to duck,” Uber said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The high placement of the wings provide shaded entry into the cabin, shielding riders from light rain as they board.
Oh yes, because that’s what you’re worried about when you clamber into what is essentially a big version of those remote controlled toy helicopters. Light rain.
Uber also revealed some deets about speed and stuff, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Yes? OK.
The vehicles will have a cruising speed of around 150mph, fly at an altitude between 1,000 and 2,000 feet, and the electric battery (yup, battery) can last for up to 60 miles before it needs recharging.
You won’t see them plugged into a socket at the local coffee shop though, because the flying cars will probably be refueled at the thousands of rooftop “skyports” Uber is hoping to build to support the UberAir program.
Eventually they want to move to a system where these vehicles don’t even have pilots, but for now, presumably to ensure anyone gets in one, they’ll be flown by an actual person.
Currently they plan to roll out the flying cars in Dallas, Dubai and Los Angeles by 2020, so look out for a big ol’ drone full of humans if you’re in one of those cities in a couple of years.
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By Lizzie Cox