In the next decade the average commute time may decrease significantly.
That is because by 2023 Uber plans to have flying taxis. And if their plan comes to fruition, it is going to force humanity to reconsider how we implement global transportation.
This past May, Uber hosted their first summit in Los Angeles, California to supercharge their airborne initiatives. The event, aptly named the Uber Elevate summit, joined 700 key players from industry, government and academia to discuss how to make Uber’s aerial goals a reality. Interestingly enough, Uber is initiating these conversations, not because they want to actually build flying cars, but because they want to continue to do what they do now - connect passengers to their taxi service.
According to Wired Magazine, for flying transportation to most effectively work for Uber, they need a variety of manufactures to build flying cars that they can then enlist into its taxi model. As a way of facilitating such future development, Uber used their initial summit as a neutral sandbox where people can share ideas to try and produce concepts that will speed up flying car production. To provide an initial point of iteration, Uber even designed a common reference model of the kinds of vehicles that they would like to see created.
By 2020 Uber plans to launch Uber air in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and Los Angeles. They are currently estimating, based on their concept, the flying cars will travel between 150-200 miles per hour and will be electrically charged for up to 60 miles. Typical charging time will be as little as five minutes and the cars will ultimately be autonomous. While Uber’s goal might seem far-fetched, other companies like Airbus and Workhorse are presently in the testing stages of useable flying cars.
Such increasing innovations pose numerous considerations for humanity. How will air traffic – planes, flying cars, drones, etc. be regulated in the future? Will flying cars be restricted to current roadways or will they be permitted to take more efficient, direct routes? Will such vehicles be permitted to traverse over residential areas? Will insurance providers insure such vehicles or will such insurance make them cost prohibitive?
All of these questions and many more will require consideration from governments, entrepreneurs, investors and the general public to provide the most safe, efficient and economical flying cars possible.
Reality Changing Observations:
Q1: How do you see flying cars impacting society, as you know it?
Q2: If cost effective, would you be willing to use a flying car?
Q3: If you would be willing to use a flying car, how do you think it would benefit you the most?