Recently, Uber unveiled a new design for its futuristic “aerial taxi,” which looks more like a giant drone than a helicopter.
Uber shared the designs for its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) “flying car” concept at the company’s second annual Elevate summit in Los Angeles.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said, “We think cities are going to go vertical in terms of transportation and we want to make that a reality.”
Uber created the prototype with NASA last year. The prototype is equipped with a series of drone-like stacked and co-rotating propellers.
Uber explained, “Uber’s [concept models] are designed for safe transition between vertical and forward flight, which is achieved through stacked co-rotating propellers.”
“Stacked co-rotating rotors or propellers have two rotor systems placed on top of each other rotating in the same direction. Initial experimentation of this concept has revealed the potential for significantly quieter performance than traditional paired rotors and improved overall performance.”
Here are some of the new vehicle’s salient features:
- Uber says that the flying taxis will jump from building top to building top, and travel at an altitude of between 1,000 and 2,000 ft.
- The company boasts that its flying taxi will zip through the air at up to 200 miles per hour.
- This all-electric aircraft taxi service will offer a faster and eco-friendly way to travel in densely populated urban areas.
- While in the air, amenities will include Wi-Fi, artificial intelligence, video calling, and wireless charging.
- Uber plans to launch these flying cars by 2023.
- The expected range of the flying taxi is about 60 miles per charge. But Uber expects it will require just five minutes topping up the batteries between flights.