The famous transportation network company, Uber, following the earlier test of driverless car, has revealed plans for the next step towards the future – the development of an unmanned aircraft that is able to provide the same service as that of taxis, except that it is up in the air. Uber has upgraded their service from the ground to the air.
Uber’s head of product, Jeff Holden told the technology website, Recode that the company is developing in the VTOL (vertical take off and landing) technology. This means that the VTOL aircraft would have a fixed wing like a plane rather than rotors like a helicopter, hoping that vertical taking-off and landing would be easier and more smooth and silent when in flight. He has in mind that the self-flying drone would take off from the roof of buildings and reaching the destination is around 9 minutes no matter the distance.
Holden believes that future public transportation would be extended from land to the sky, improving ground traffic congestion and shortening travel time to cross cities. Uber would like to provide customers with many transportation options to move around and the technology could be available within a decade. “It could change cities and how we work and live,” he said.
Earlier this year, a Chinese company, Ehang, developed the Ehang 184, an autonomous, car-sized quadcopter that is able to carry one passenger, with a flight time of 23 minutes. The 184, which is scheduled for release as early as this year, is expected to cost up to $300,000. The idea of Uber having a self-flying drone taxis may seem farfetched, and would require new laws and regulations and develop incredibly high costs, but Uber is already successful tested their self-driving car earlier this month. The future is unpredictable and technology is advancing, we’ll never know what crazy technology would be brought up.