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Sep 28, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

UberAir: Five countries ready to host future flying taxi service

US giant Uber is showing further ambition by announcing that after Dallas and Los Angeles, they are ready to implement their UberAir project in a third city, this time abroad. The final selection has yet to be revealed, but a list of five countries was released at a recent exhibition by the company in Japan that was devoted to its future flying taxis.

After Dallas and Los Angeles, Uber is looking for a third city in which to launch UberAir, its flying taxi service. A list was unveiled last week in Japan at the Uber Elevate Asia Pacific Expo. The project will feature a fleet of e-VTOLS flying vehicles or similar, which are capable of vertical take-off and reaching speeds of 240 km/h at an altitude of over 600 metres. The flying taxis will offer travellers shared urban journeys. They will be entirely electric and capable of covering distances of around 100 kilometres on one recharge, according to a report in Mashable.


Several cities under consideration


Five countries feature on the Uber list: Japan (Tokyo and Osaka), India (Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore), Australia (Melbourne and Sydney), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro) and finally France (Paris). Maps were shown to the public with sample routes, in particular between the airports of Haneda and Narita near Tokyo.

Los Angeles and Dallas had already been announced as the initial beneficiaries of UberAir with a test phase in 2020 ahead of an official launch slated for 2023. The Japanese government is already working on its own flying vehicle project, with the aim of implementing an airborne public transport service within 10 years according to Bloomberg. This project could also be carried out in conjunction with Uber or other companies.


Cities with over 2 million inhabitants shortlisted


Other maps showing plans for air links were revealed, for Delhi, Mumbai, Seoul, Taipei and Sydney. According to the models, urban journeys of around 65 kilometres could be covered in under 20 minutes by the future e-VTOLS, compared with almost two hours by car at the moment.

The third city for the project would ideally be one with over 2 million inhabitants that already has a high-density underground rail network, meaning that an airborne taxi service would be an added advantage. Uber also pointed out that it should also preferably be in a "polycentric" region, i.e. a vast urban agglomeration of several cities. It is not yet known when the choice of the final city will be made public.


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