Flying Cars By 2020
Back in the 80’s a popular TV show called Towards 2000 talked about it and a kid called Marty McFly went gallivanting into the future, 2015 to be exact and Boom, Flying cars.
Here we are three-quarters of the way through 2018 and sadly, no flying cars, but that could be about to change, that is if Uber have anything to do with it.
Uber Elevate, Uber’s third conference was held earlier this year, outlining its plans to get flying cars, well off the ground in as little as two years. UberAir’s aim is to have personalised air travel be as easily accessed as its current ride share service, open the app press a button and here comes your flight. Simple.
How will it work?
The technology is called eVTOL, electric vertical take-off and landing and the vehicle is cross between a helicopter and plane.
Flight altitude will be between 1,000 to 2,000 feet, with a cursing speed of between 240 to 320kph and could travel up to 120Km without charge. It’s envisioned that the aircraft would be recharged between short journeys. Initially the aircraft will have a pilot, however, eventually they will be autonomous.
What’s the Cost?
Uber estimates initially the cost will be USD $6.00 Per Mile (approximately AUD $5.20 Per KM) however in the future as the fleet grows and ride sharing is introduced it could go as low as USD $2.00 per mile (Approximately AUD $1.75 Per KM).
So a trip from my home to the office (38Km on the road 27Km by air) which currently takes me approximately 1 hour 15 minutes in peak hour traffic and would cost an estimated $73 in a traditional Uber, could be done in around 15 minutes, at an initial cost $140 but could get down as low as $47.00 in the future.
Uber is well on the way to making this a reality, having already partnered with a handful of aircraft manufactures and real estate firms and regulators. As well as signing a Space Act Agreement with NASA to develop an air traffic control system.
Eric Allison Uber head of aviation said: “It might be something that exists in sci-fi fantasies, but we want to make it real”. “These vehicles are past the research phase and we’re now at the point where they’ll be employed commercially.”
But Uber isn’t on their own, with at least 19 other companies with flying cars in the works, and we are talking about some heavy hitters like Boeing, Airbus and a start-up called Kitty Hawk owned by Google founder Larry Page.
So whilst Marty McFly missed the dates by a few years, the vision of the future looks to be just around the corner.
Watch this space for further updates.