By: Steve Dellar | 05-09-2018 | News
Photo credit: Uber

Texas - Bell Helicopters Ensures Dallas Becomes First UberAIR City (Video)


Los Angeles will host the Mayor of Dallas, Mr Mike Rawlings, today for the second annual Uber Elevate Summit. The event will confirm what many have long dreamt would only be possible in science fiction movies, namely that thanks to the partnership between Fort Worth-based Bell Helicopters and Uber, the city of Dallas will be the first to offer Uber Air Taxis.

Bell Helicopters has designed an electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing vehicle (VTOL) in partnership with the US army which will, as from the 2020s if all goes according to plan, offer flying taxi services in Dallas as the first major city to do so.

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One of the main sticking points at this moment is to dampen the noise from such a vehicle. Mr Rob McDonald, head of vehicle engineering for Uber Elevate, confirmed that “achieving ultra-low noise is one of the critical obstacles."

<blockquote class="twitter-video" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Uber is releasing new information about Uber Air, an ambitious plan to launch a fleet of autonomous flying taxis in two years. <a href="">@CBSThisMorning</a> got a first look at the design models that will be on display at Tuesday&#39;s Uber Elevate Summit <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; CBS News (@CBSNews) <a href="">May 8, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi meanwhile looked forward to the future of flying taxis: “We want to create the network around those vehicles so regular people can take these taxis in the air for longer distances when they want to avoid traffic at affordable prices.”

“Ambition is what has created this company from the very beginning. Part of what makes this company great is big bold bets.”

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He envisions a world where passengers request an UberAIR on their phone and then head to rooftop skyports where these aircrafts take off.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Uber links with NASA and US Army to develop aviation rideshare network &#39;Uber Air.’ <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Complex Life (@ComplexMagLife) <a href="">May 8, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Then of course, comes the question of cost. According to calculations projected by Uber, the UberAIR will not be cheaper on a cost per passenger mile at launch. For the first years, UberAIR would probably cost some $5.73 per passenger mile, depending on how many passengers per aircraft and how many miles.

However, Uber claims that within years of the launch, this cost would automatically go down to $1.86 per passenger mile, with a bold vision of them stating it would end at around $0.44 per passenger mile by 2030. At that point, the technology would be worldwide and thus cheaper than a car.


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