Uber names Melbourne as first non-US city for flying auto program
Uber names Melbourne as first non-US city for flying auto program
Uber to trial its air taxis in Melbourne
12 June, 2019, 13:57
Announced at the UberElevate Summit this week in Washington DC, Melbourne will join two other cities, Los Angeles and Fort Worth, in the Uber Air trial. "These cities will be the first to offer Uber Air flights with the goal to begin demonstrator flights in 2020 and commercial operations in 2023", the group said.
Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said earlier Tuesday that the helicopters will eventually be replaced "by a generation of electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing vehicles".
The trial will begin in 2020, and there are plans to introduce Uber Air to other Australian cities if it is successful.
"The expectation is, subject to the confirmation through the appropriate regulatory authorities as to safety and airspace access, there will be a capacity to take Uber Air to the airport long before Melbourne airport rail is up and running", Mr Pallas said.
"Our network strength, coverage and leadership in 5G, along with our ongoing work on drones and related standards, will support Uber's incredible technology and innovation to develop a service we have all imagined would one day be possible", Penn said.
Uber announced it has been working with the Victorian State Government as well as companies including Macquarie, Telstra and Scentre Group (owner and operator of Westfield in Australia and New Zealand) as well as Melbourne Airport to deliver the new service.
It also wants rides to "cost as little as an Uber X ride" - we'd suggest the days of low-priced eVTOL travel are a long way off, though.
Anderson said the Victorian state government was "highly supportive" of the plan for Melbourne and would be working in partnership with Uber to progress the first global trial.
"This, coupled with Melbourne's unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the flawless third launch city for UberAir".
Would you hop into a flying Uber? .
There are plenty of legal hurdles for Uber to navigate before its air service takes off.
"Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology", Anderson said.
It had taken the state almost three years to decide how to legislate ride-hailing services such as Uber, announcing back in September 2015 that it was preparing to regulate the service amid concerns from the local taxi industry.
An artist's impression of an Uber skyport. "But we need to prove to people that this technology can be as safe as helicopters, which regularly fly in our cities", he said.
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