Embraer just debuted its Uber Elevate flying taxi concept

  • Embraer just debuted its Uber Elevate flying taxi concept

Embraer just debuted its Uber Elevate flying taxi concept

The company, which is hosting its second Uber Elevate summit in Los Angeles showed off the newest renderings of its planned sky taxis.

Embraer unveiled its first eVTOL aircraft concept at the Uber Elevate conference in Los Angeles on 8 May.

After helping to pioneer peer-to-peer ride hailing and working to bring self-driving cars to the road, Uber's next step will take it to a place where it won't need roads. An additional vertical propeller in the back provides forward thrust.

Uber's design model specifies that this fully electric vehicle have a cruising speed between 150 to 200 miles per hour, a cruising altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 feet and be able to do trips of up to 60 miles on a single charge. The flying cars have four rotors mounted on wings. The multiple rotors also add redundancy, so the eVTOL should be safer as well. Last year, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera's office released a finding estimating that 45,000 Uber and Lyft drivers are operating in the city, leading to gridlock caused by the extra vehicles. The Uber air taxis will use clusters of small propellers, however, and will run on electricity rather than gas, which will make them far quieter. Early eVTOLs will be piloted by a human, but the ultimate goal is for these vehicles to become autonomous. Customers in the four-seater will initially pay the same as an Uber Black over the same distance and once the service has enough passengers, pricing will drop down to Uber X rates for the same distance.

Future eVTOLs won't just be landing in your driveway. Created to handle up to 200 landings and take-offs per hour, Uber's air taxi will initially be piloted by humans, though the company intends for its vehicles to eventually be autonomous.

"NASA is excited to be partnering with Uber and others in the community to identify the key challenges facing the UAM market, and explore necessary research, development and testing requirements to address those challenges", said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

We're on location at the Uber Elevate Summit, so stay tuned over the next day or so for even more details regarding Uber's plans for urban air travel.