Uber Technologies re-opens contest for first international venue for its air-taxi service

Uber is working with aviation regulators around the globe to win up-front approvals and aims to demonstrate the service in 2020 with paid flights set to begin in 2023.

In a strategic move, Uber Technologies Inc has re-opened a contest for the selection of the first international city for its proposed flying taxi project.

The re-opening comes midst delays in getting this service off-the ground in Dubai.

In a statement, Uber said, the service, known as UberAIR, aims to launch demonstrator flights starting in 2020 and will begin paid, intra-city operations in 2023.

In 2017, Uber named Los Angeles and Dallas as the cities wherein it will launch this service. It is now looking for a third, international metropolis to do the same, said Jeff Holden, Uber’s Chief Product Officer at its annual Elevate Summit in Los Angeles.

For now, the tech firm is looking only at metropolitan cities with a population more than 2 million, which has an airport that is an least an hgour away from the city center and one which is willing to back pooled ride sharing services.

“Dubai has previously expressed an interest in (Uber’s) vision but we are broadening the pool given interest from other cities which is why we have launched this criteria and process,” said Uber’s spokeswoman while adding that discussions with Dubai continues.

Since its launch in 2011, Uber has popularized ground based taxi alternatives and now aims to speed up the development of a new industry of electric, on-demand, urban air taxis, which customers could order from their smartphone.

Uber envisions a fleet of electric jet-powered vehicles, which are part drone, part helicopter and part fixed-wing aircraft, which are capable of both vertical take off and landing as well as horizontal flight.

Uber is working with aviation regulators around the globe to win up-front approvals.


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