Melbourne Will Be One of the First Three Cities to Test Uber's Flying Taxis in 2020
Flights to Melbourne Airport are expected to take only ten minutes — and eventually cost the same price as an Uber X.
Your dreams of ditching the slow peak-hour crawl for a quick flight through the skies could very soon become a reality, with Uber today announcing Melbourne as its third — and first international — trial city for Uber aircrafts.
Having already flagged the US's Dallas and Los Angeles as launch cities for its new flying service, dubbed the Uber Elevate project, and after some speculation last year, the ride share company has now confirmed it'll also start testing in Melbourne in 2020. If these trials are a success, we should see regular services start from 2023.
The all-electric Uber Airs will operate a little like helicopters (but 32 times less noisy, supposedly) with the 'electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles' (eVTOLs) using helipad-style 'Skyports' located on high rooftops at key points around the city. As the company has just announced it'll be teaming up with the Scentre Group (owners of Westfield), expect a lot of these to be located atop shopping centres.
And at Melbourne Airport, thankfully. Uber has announced it'll be continuing its partnership with the airport for the new venture — which will most likely launch before construction even begins on the long-awaited airport rail. At least there'll be one fast way to get to the airport. While a car ride from the CBD to the Melbourne can currently take anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour, Uber is promising that its Uber Air will only take about ten minutes.
By taking travel to the air, the company is hoping to "open up urban air mobility and help alleviate transport congestion on the ground". Passengers will be able to tee up a flight in the same way they order a car, with a push of the button, and hopefully it'll be just as cheap. While the company has not announced how much it'll cost initially, it has said that an Uber Air will eventually be as cheap as taking an Uber X ride of the same distance.
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.
Uber Elevate will start tests in Melbourne by 2020 with regular services kicking off in 2023. To read more about the program, head to the Uber website.
Published on June 12, 2019 by Libby Curran