Credits: Uber Elevate website

India On Uber’s Shortlist To Launch Air Taxis By 2023

Ride-hailing services provider Uber Technologies is considering India among nations where it plans to test flying taxis by 2020 and launch commercially by 2023.

That could translate into a 10-minute flight from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport to Churchgate Railway Station in Mumbai, which ordinarily takes about 100 minutes by car, Eric Allison, chief executive officer at the aviation department of the company, said giving an example while speaking at the US-India Business Council’s annual general meeting in the city.

“We have announced two initial launch markets of Dallas and Los Angeles,” said Allison. The company is working closely with state local governments to make air taxis possible in the U.S. “We can do it at a cost similar to our UberX product on a per passenger mile basis in the U.S. and that could be a game-changer.”

Uber Elevate, the company’s aerial ride sharing initiative, is looking to shortlist the third international city in the next six months. India, along with Japan, Australia, Brazil, and France, are the countries that will be options. The company, according to a PTI report, is looking actively at Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai as options due to high traffic congestion in these cities.

The cab-aggregator is working with five partners, Karem Aircraft, Embraer, Pipistrel, Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences and Bell (formerly Bell Helicopters), to develop the vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles. “The real magic happens when we combine this amazing work and the eVTOL technology that these companies are building with the ride-sharing technology that Uber has developed,” said Allison.