Uber is hoping to break its streak of bad news by announcing plans to launch its much-hyped flying taxi service in 2020.
Announced at the Elevate conference in Dallas today, the ride-hailing giant has teamed up with the cities of Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai to begin the new initiative. The Verge reports Uber will also be working with Hilwood Properties to identity potential heliports, dubbed “vertiports” in Uber speak, for the service in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The company has partnered with five different manufacturers to design and develop vertical takeoff and landing aircrafts which are lightweight and electrically powered. Before you decide to write the idea off, there are some big names involved including Bell Helicopters and Embraer.
Unlike traditional flights, the service promises to be relatively affordable as Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden told Reuters the company can get costs down to “$1.32 per passenger mile” in early operations. That makes the service slightly more expensive than UberX but he believes prices will drop in the long term.
If everything goes according to plan, Uber could be conducting passenger flights at the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.