Anyone who’s ever used Uber would be familiar with the very customer-centric focus, so it comes as no surprise that Uber Elevate was born from a desire to make travel easier than ever before. The initiative plans to reduce crazy congestion on the roads and absurdly long peak commute times by setting up a ridesharing service in the mother flipping air. You might be wondering at this point just how exactly Uber Elevate plans to pull off this extreme scheme, and one of the key points is in the craft. Instead of standard planes or helicopters, the initiative will be using a network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically (nicknamed VTOL for Vertical Take-off and Landing). One such VTOL is the Joby S2 from Joby Aviation (pictured above), a company on Uber’s wishlist to create the first Uber Elevate fleet. As you can see they are pretty schmick little guys, designed to carry two passengers at a time and running on completely clean energy. Uber plans to convert building tops to ‘vertiports’ for landing, launching and recharging its aircraft, initially using portions of existing air space to comply with regulations.
Much like the original Uber concept, the plan with Uber Elevate is to create a service that is more beneficial for the customer – reduced ride times, cost-effective commutes and comfort are all key priorities within the scheme. If all things go according to plan, we could be seeing Uber Elevate take off in Sydney and Melbourne from as early as 2023. Is the vision extremely ambitious? Heck yes it is, but the brains at Uber have been working away to create a list of possible barriers and their countering solutions.
Curious about the finer details? You can check out the whole White Paper Abstract for Uber Elevate online here.
Images: Joby Aviation