Uber closer to launching flying auto service

Design models of Uber's flying taxi.
               CBS News

Design models of Uber's flying taxi. CBS News

Uber revealed the new concept at its second Elevate Summit, an annual event that highlights progress towards an ultimate goal of commercializing a fleet of autonomous electric flying taxis in city centers.

"The eCRM design is pedestrian friendly, as the propeller blades are as high as possible, leaving ample room for individuals to board and deplane without having to duck", Uber's statement read, according to Fortune.

Imagine summoning a flying taxi instead of a vehicle using Uber's smartphone app. Uber is hoping to make that happen in the near future and announced today a research partnership with NASA to study manned urban taxis.

The concept will be on display at the aforementioned Uber Elevate Summit which kicks off today and runs through Wednesday. Flying speed will be between 150 miles per hour and 200 miles per hour while flying from 1,000 to 2,000 feet above the ground.

The ride hailing company unveiled its first flying vehicle prototypes Tuesday at its annual Uber Elevate Summit. Analysis of these simulations will identify safety issues as these new aircraft take to the air in an already crowded air traffic control system.

Uber plans to begin testing in 2020 ahead of a public roll-out in Dallas and Los Angeles by 2023. "Finally, point of entry into the eCRMs is limited to one side, simplifying ground crew operations and reducing confusion for riders when they approach their eVTOL vehicle". The aircraft will transport four passengers at a time.

Uber has shared more details on a flying auto that could eventually transport you around cities.

Embraer X's first eVTOL concept unveiled today is the outcome of extensive interaction with potential urban air travelers about their desired experience, combined with the expertise of Embraer's teams and the collaboration with various companies and institutions. Yet only now are we getting our first glimpse of what the vertical-takeoff-and-landing planes might look like.

"We think cities are going to go vertical in terms of transportation and we want to make that a reality", he added.

Updated on May 8: Added information about work with Army Research Labs.

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