UBER will launch ride-sharing flights in Los Angeles by 2020 that are expected to cost less than a typical Uber X ride, the company announced on Wednesday.
Product design officer Jeff Holden told Lisbon’s Web Summit the company had already designed a prototype for an emissions-free helicopter-style ride to transport people via the skies.
The custom design includes many small motors rather than a large rotor like a helicopter and is quieter, while allowing for “emissions free electric flight”.
“This is the beginning of the end of individual car ownership,” Mr Holden said. “Except for a hobby, you won’t own your own car.”
“Just as skyscrapers were the solution to commercial and residential density in cities, we believe that moving local transportation to the sky is going to open up incredible mobility bandwidth in cities.”
Mr Holden said the company planned to “offer an Uber Air flight for the cost of an Uber X trip on the ground” as soon as it was launched.
“The gnarliest of commute, an hour and a half on the ground could become a handful of minutes in the air. That’s exciting,” he said.
This may not happen by 2020 but is showing us what the future is likely to be. It will be automated transport that picks you up from your home and delivers you to your destination.
The politicians about to sink billions of dollars into train tracks that can only go from Point A to Point B might want to think about the potential for it to be white elephants on a huge scale.