Uber Elevate today announced five shortlisted finalist countries that could be home to the first international Uber Air City within the next five years. Uber’s Elevate program is looking to enable urban aerial ridesharing globally, where starting in 2023, Uber customers can get a flight on-demand with uberAIR at the push of a button.
Dallas and Los Angeles were previously announced as the first two US launch cities, and at the second annual Uber Elevate Summit in May, Uber announced it was seeking an international city as a third partner.
According to a statement from the company, after evaluating countries across the globe, Uber announced at the Uber Elevate Asia Pacific Expo that Japan, India, Australia, Brazila and France are in the five countries it has shortlisted.
The Uber Elevate team is now inviting conversations with stakeholders across major cities in these countries, and will announce the chosen Uber Air international city within the next six months.
In India, Uber says, Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore are some of the most congested cities in the world, where traveling even a few kilometers can take over an hour. “Uber Air offers tremendous potential to help create a transportation option that goes over congestion, instead of adding to it,” it said in a statement.
Similarly, Japan is home to one of the world’s most enviable public transit systems and a world leader in the technology and automotive industries. It has invited Tokyo and Osaka to explore the future of transportation with Uber.
In Australia, Uber has already held talks with local policymakers and the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
In Brazil, the state of São Paulo, is home to its partner Embraer, and is also one of the most active helicopter markets, indicating clear demand for urban aerial ridesharing.
It is also set to open an Advanced Technology Center in Paris, the city where Uber was first born.
While picking these five countries, the criteria was that the country has a sizable market, local commitment and enabling conditions, since Uber Air relies on multimodal, efficient operations that are seamlessly integrated with a robust Uber ground network.
To demonstrate this value proposition, Uber Elevate has designed and released the first example of future routes for Uber Air flights for Delhi, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul, Sydney, and Taipei.
Additionally, Uber Elevate announced plans to experiment with drone delivery for Uber Eats, and demonstrated how potential Uber Air routes in Asia Pacific cities could benefit, and complement, local transportation systems.