Melbourne Could Be One of the First Three Cities to Test Uber's Flying Taxis in 2020

With flights to Melbourne Airport expected to take only five minutes — and cost the price of an Uber X.
Libby Curran
Published on November 08, 2018

Your dreams of ditching the slow peak-hour crawl for a quick flight through the skies could soon become a reality, as Uber reveals it's seriously considering Melbourne as a trial city for its world-first Uber aircraft.

Having already flagged the USA's Dallas and Los Angeles as launch cities for its new flying service, dubbed the Elevate project, the ride share company now has Melbourne in its sights for a third location, largely thanks to its booming population.

According to 7News, Uber executives have arrived Down Under to discuss opportunities with the government and to explore how a place like Melbourne could handle a flying ride share system, with passengers catching aircraft instead of cars. Uber's Head of Aviation Eric Allison told 7News that with rapidly growing populations in Sydney and Melbourne, "We see that there is a clear need for this type of service."

Earlier this year, the company showed off new plans for its groundbreaking foray into air travel, at the Uber Elevate Summit. Based on these latest designs, the system would operate using electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs), with helipad-style takeoff and landing 'Skyports' located on high rooftops at key points around the city.

Passengers would be able to tee up a flight using the Uber app, then be driven to a nearby launch pad. "The button press will orchestrate you a car to get to the sky port and then to take you away from the sky port to get you to your final destination," Allison explained to 7News.

In an example of how fast Uber Air trips could be, Uber has said that an average 55-minute trip to Melbourne Airport could be cut down to just 5 minutes. And in excellent news for your bank account, the flights would apparently cost no more than an Uber X.

Here's a look at how it will work:

If Melbourne's given the green light as Uber's third test city, we could see trial flights begin as early as 2020, with regular services kicking off by 2023.

While this all sounds a bit too good to be true, we do hope we'll be Jetsons-ing around the city for pittance soon.


Images: Uber and Humphreys & Partners Architects, Gannett Fleming, Corgan and Pickard Chilton.

Published on November 08, 2018 by Libby Curran
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