After changing the face of taxi travelling across the world, Uber is now looking to take on the skies as well with flying taxis.
According to a Reuters report, Uberâ€™s chief product officer, Jeff Holden said that the company expects to deploy its flying taxis in in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and Dubai by 2020
These flying taxis will be small electric aircrafts that take off and land vertically. They are expected to have zero emission and will be quiet enough to operate in cities.
As per the Reuters report, Uber estimates that the flying taxis can cut down travel time between San Francisco's Marina to downtown San Jose to 15 minutes, compared with the more than two hours it takes by road.
The ride may cost around $1.32 per passenger mile initially. This is slightly higher than what UberX costs for a similar distance.
Holden says that Uber is working with Hillwood Properties to make four vertiports - VTOL hubs with multiple takeoff and landing pads in Dallas starting next year.
In the longer term, the company expects the cost of taking flying taxis to fall below car ownership.
Reuters reports that Uber has also teamed up with companies such as Bell Helicopter, Aurora, Pipistrel, Mooney and Embraer to make the flying taxis. Additionally, it has also partnered with ChargePoint, an US electric vehicle charging station maker, to develop an exclusive charger for its network.
Uber, which has also partnered with the Dubai government, expects to conduct passenger flights as part of the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.
Uber has been working on several innovations to change the way we travel. It was also working on a self-driving technology before it was marred with controversy.
Image: Matt Brown