One of the most commonly featured technology marvels in media that take place in a futuristic setting is the flying car. Until now, this idea has been nothing more than an intriguing fantasy. According to a document recently published by Uber, however, we may actually be within a decade of seeing the first commercial personal flying vehicles. Uber’s plan, called Uber Elevate, intends to have personal aircraft available by 2026.
Rather than building their own vehicles for Uber Elevate, the company plans to partner with third party companies that will handle the manufacturing of the vehicles. The aircraft would be designed to reach a speed of 150mph and would travel up to 100 miles to get passengers to their destinations. The vehicles will be equipped to transport multiple passengers and a pilot. The company estimates that the vehicles will be ready within the next five years, however, they will not be publicly available until 2026. One of the key factors that Uber hopes to address in the development of these vehicles is safety. The company recognizes that flying vehicles must not only match, but exceed the safety of their current grounded counterparts to be accepted as safe vehicles by consumers. Although it’s probably safe to assume that the cost of an Uber Elevate ride will surpass the cost of a traditional Uber ride, the appeal will be speed, as these vehicles will make it possible to get passengers to their destinations much more quickly.
While Uber’s plan is quite ambitious and impressive, it’s still a long way from a reality at this stage. Nonetheless, it’s exciting to imagine that the first flying cars may be ready in as few as ten years. In the meantime, the company is also working on other technology-driven projects, such as a fleet of fully autonomous Uber automobiles, which, while perhaps slightly less exciting, are expected to be ready for public use in as few as five years. In their document, Uber thoroughly outlines many considerations, such as air travel regulations, safety, and engineering. To read the full 98-page Uber Elevate document in its entirety, follow the “Source” link below.