Uber to launch flying taxis by 2020

A man exits the Uber offices in Queens New York U.S

As the name suggests, Elevate is Uber's flying vehicle taxi service, which Holden first hinted at back in September of 2016.

Uber has also joined forced with with NASA who will be developing traffic management systems to ensure safe and efficient operations of the aircrafts.

It is hoped that by 2020 the UberAir service will be running trials in Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Dubai.

The flying taxi project could drastically reduce trip times by avoiding traffic while remaining relatively affordable. Uber's on-demand aviation service needs NASA, not for the vehicle tech, but for navigation and traffic system planning development, reports CNBC.

They anticipate that travelling by flying auto will cost app-users as much as if they were to take the trip with Uber X, the company's luxury option. "This collaboration makes a ton of sense in order to bring this to market as fast as possible", Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden told Bloomberg Television. The flights will take off and land at sites the company plans to develop in partnership with real estate investor Sandstone Properties.

"On-demand aviation has the potential to radically improve urban mobility, giving people back time lost in their daily commutes", said Uber past year.

Uber's flying taxi service is expected to really pick up starting in 2023, when the company begins offering paid flights within cities.

"In this case, technology will allow LA residents to literally fly over the city's historically bad traffic, giving them time back to use in far more productive ways, whether more leisure time with friends and family or more time to work", said Holden.

A promotional video illustrated the app would work in a similar way to the current set-up for ordering a vehicle ride.

Currently, Uber is working on software for flying taxi networks with the help of partners including Aurora Flight Sciences.

UberAIR forms part of the ride-sharing apps' Elevate initiative, which would see cars replaced with electric aircrafts that are capable of taking off and landing vertically as a quicker and more environmentally friendly way to travel.

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