May 062017

Already in the testing stage, the flying vehicles designated for taxi services are expected to appear soon in the large metropolis landscape, and Uber might be among the first companies to offer such options.

Uber flying taxi Ehang 184 drone

EHang 184 – a self-flying taxi drone to be used by Uber (pic: Youtube capture)

The company’s plans were revealed at a Dallas conference and aim at creating “Elevate Network”, a transport service supported by flight vehicles capable of vertical take-off / landing in specially delimited areas such as public parkings, roof of buildings, or even yard of your own dwelling.

At the event, Uber mentioned its ongoing partnerships with Dubai’s transport authorities, aiming to demonstrate the first functional air taxi service at World Expo 2020. The flight would be served by the eHang184, a driverless drone designed and built in China, able to carry a single passenger weighing up to 100 Kg, and reach a maximum speed of 160 Km/h.

Passengers will be able to enter the desired address in drone’s onboard computer using a touch screen display, and then the vehicle will automatically take off and head for the selected destination. Alternatively, a European version of the air taxi service could involve specially trained pilots to remotely control the flying vehicles.

Fitted with electric propulsion, the flying taxis can ensure a 30 minute flight over a 50 km distance, enough for quick travels between the crowded central areas of the big cities.

Video: EHang 184 – world’s first self-flying taxi drone