Monday, September 03, 2018

Uber AIR: Here is everything you need to know

New Delhi: Uber is bringing together a set of companies as part of its Uber Elevate programme, which aims to decongest the world’s top cities by offering quick and affordable aerial transportation options.
 The plan is to fly eVTOL (electric vertical take off and landing) aircraft on short distances of around 100 km, at speeds between 150-200 mph and cruising altitude of 1000-2000 feet on a single charge.

Uber has already announced that test flights of Uber Air will take place in Dallas-Fort Worth/Frisco Texas and Los Angeles in 2020 with commercial flights starting 2023. Last week, it announced that one city from among India, Japan, Australia, France and Brazil will be picked as the third, international, destination for Uber Air flights.

Uber’s estimate is that urban congestion costs India alone $22 billion a year.
Since helicopters were found to be costly, high maintenance and noisy, Uber is looking at a new type of aircraft for the Elevate programme. It is hoping that partner companies like Embraer, Bell, Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft and Karem will be able to come up with a sustainable prototype of an eVTOL aircraft by 2020.

This aircraft will be powered by battery, will take off and land vertically, fly the said distance on a single charge and have a certain amount of autonomous ability. Eric Allison, Head of Aviation Programmes at Uber, says the hope is that they can catalyse the industry by working with many partners for the product and infrastructure at the same time.

03/09/18 Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express