It has long been clear that Uber, in spite of its launch as a company reforming taxi driving, envisions the future with driverless cars. According to a recently released document, this is only one half of the ambitious plans of a money-laundering startup.
Within a decade, Uber wants to transport people with a network of giant drone-like aircraft powered by electric motors, according to a recently published study. The project, called Elevate, calculates vertically ascending, online-ordered, fully electric, pilot-controlled, multi-person vehicles.
These would actually be much more passenger drones than flying cars, as they were not planned to approach the surface. After all, their point is to completely avoid traffic jams and public roads at all. The project is based on the fact that in the United States, richly laced with helipads, a significant part of the necessary infrastructure will be available from the outset. This is because the network would initially use helicopter landing gear.
Uber itself would bring the network, users and pilots to the party, the aircraft would not be made by them.
All we know about the designed vehicles is that they would probably be machines with rising wings, ascending and advancing machines with rotatable rotors. For less noise and safer propulsion, it is very likely that air taxis will not resemble current helicopters or airplanes, but rather multi-engine drones.
According to Uber, the production of operational aircraft will go the fastest out of the whole plan. They predict that in five years’ time there will be an electric vehicle on the market that takes off vertically and can cover at least 160 kilometers on a single charge, with a cruising speed of around 240 km / h, carrying pilots and more passengers.
Experts interviewed by Wired also confirmed that this part of the study is not PR rice but a completely realistic forecast. NASA’s ten-engine model called Oiled Lightning (!!!) is beyond test flights. California’s Joby Aviation wants to launch its two-seater, 12-engine air taxi service within five years. German eVolo wants to launch 18-engine Volocopters on the market as early as 2018, and these are far from the full field.
So the vehicles and the network could be in a few years. Wired’s article dissects for a long time that by far the roughest and most time-consuming obstacle to the realization of the whole is bureaucracy, that is, the development of regulation. Agreeing with municipalities doesn’t seem easy either, although Uber can rightly argue with declining air pollution here.
And if you can really make Elevate, it will be instantly connected to ground self-driving taxis to make America the country of the hundreds of millions of Jetson families.