When people think of future promises unfulfilled, they often lament the lack of the flying car. Ride-sharing service Uber wants to change that in a way no one could have predicted 50 years ago.
Instead of a vast highway system of flying cars like we were promised in Back to the Future 2, UberAir instead wants to bring on-demand electric flying taxis to Los Angeles and Dallas-Fort Worth by 2020.
According to Forbes, UberAir plans “to develop take-off and landing hubs” for its “electrical vertical take-off and landing vehicles,” or eVTOL. A trip across LA via air would be roughly the same price as a ride in an UberX.
The benefit of air travel over a traditional ride through the streets of LA is how much time it cuts from a trip. Where a normal, ground-based jaunt might take an hour and half through LA’s notoriously busy highways, an air taxi could make the trip in just 30 minutes.
Another advantage over traditional automobile rides is a reduction in emissions. Since cars in LA spend most of their time idling angrily in traffic, an all-electric taxi zipping through the sky is a huge decrease in pollution for the same results.
Uber hopes to have its fly-sharing service in place by the 2020 Olympics, so people from all over the world can delight in watching LA motorists sit as they fly magically from event to event.
Last year, we took a ride in one of Uber’s self-driving cars, and it was an unusual feeling, but streaking across the sky may have it beat.