Uber Technologies, Inc. has disrupted the taxi industry by converting private vehicles into taxis and with the launch of their fleet of self-driving cars. Now the company is looking towards the future with a dream of having their own network of flying cars.
Wired reports that Uber wants to achieve this dream within the decade. Their network of flying cars will be called "Elevate" and they a fully electric aircraft that's available on-demand and can take off and land vertically.
The ridesharing company believes that flying cars will help lessen the travel time that commuters spend on whenever they go to work and go home. Uber wants to offer this service, theoretically, at the price of a private ride with UberX.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Uber's dream future would require the help of flying car manufacturers as the ridesharing company won't build the vehicles themselves. They would also need regulators' willingness to allow small aircraft to fly above city centers and homes.
The latter would be a challenge as regulators in the U.S. and abroad are still working on a framework that would allow Amazon.com, Inc., Alphabet, Inc. and others to allow package delivery drones to alight in residential areas safely. These drones actually pose less risk to people and property because of their smaller size.
Uber is not planning to do this alone, as they're looking to capitalize on the market to bring together private and government parties to solve a pile of technical, regulatory, and infrastructural problems. This is more of a call to arms from the ridesharing company.
Uber's Product Chief Jeff Holden said the idea has potential. "If you can do all those things, you've got the potential for a new transportation method."
Holden adds that their role is to just turn the corner to make it happen. "Our intent is to help the industry get there faster," he said.