by Nicolas Shammas
Uber clearly wasn’t messing around when it said it would launch a pay-as-you-go flying ride-sharing service to metropolitan skylines. Using the name Uber Elevate, they’ve now signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to create a new air traffic control system to manage these low-flying autonomous aircraft and hired Tesla’s lead battery expert to help power these ‘flying cars’.
The pilot programme, which is due to launch in Dubai, Dallas-Fort Worth and LA in as little as three years, is going to be based around the same principles as the regular Uber experience – in that you use an app on your phone to request a flying taxi – the rest though will be the stuff of fantasy. Basically, you walk to a nearby participant building and take the lift up to a ‘skyport’ on the roof. There you pass through a turnstile with a scan of your phone and onto a scale to confirm the approaching taxi can handle the cumulative passenger load. Then you’re up in the air and on your way to another ‘skyport’ closest to your destination.
The craziest part is that they think they can offer this service for a very low price.