Uber could help you commute to your job in the air by 2020. The innovators behind Uber Elevate discuss when the product will be ready, what to expect from the future of air travel in cities, and just what to expect pricing wise. Spoiler alert: Uber Elevate could be the same price as ordering an Uber X.
Mark Moore is the Engineering Director of Aviation at Uber and Michael Thacker is the Executive Vice President of Technology and Innovation at Bell Helicopter. Bell has been developing an electric, vertical take-off and landing vehicle that Uber will utilize for Uber Elevate. And the amazing part is that this product is closer to market than you may realize.
By 2020 Moore expects for test vehicles to be flying around in their target cities, and by 2023 to 2025, Uber Elevate will start commercial operations in three cities. Those three cities will be Denver, Dubai, and Los Angeles.
There are few completely electric aircrafts, but due to the short distances these vehicles will travel, Uber believes completely electric air travel is possible. That paired with Bell Helicopter's history of leading the aviation industry has led both companies to be confident in their timeline for innovation.
Moore and Thacker explain that this innovation is a solution to ground gridlock. As cities continue to grow in population, streets are becoming increasingly congested. Uber Elevate is offering a solution to this program by taking to the sky. The infrastructure building is light, which allows for such a short timeline to be possible.
According to Moore, the cost of riding with Uber Elevate could be as cheap as ordering Uber X.