Uber Air Flying Taxis Arrives In Melbourne, Australia

Pappi Hex

Ride hailing company Uber has added Melbourne to the list of cities that its flying taxis will operate when it launches Uber Air.

Melbourne joins the list of other US cities such as Dallas and Los Angeles as pilot cities for the flying taxis. This means Australia is the first international market for Uber Air.

While making the announcement at the company's Elevate (Uber Air) Summit in Washington, Uber revealed plans for next year planned test flight and 2023 target when it plans to begin commercial operations.

"Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology. This, coupled with Melbourne's unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the perfect third launch city for Uber Air," Uber Head of operations in Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, Susan Anderson said.

"We will see other Australian cites following soon after. The State Government of Victoria, Australia has been highly supportive."

The major aim of flying taxis is to reduce traffic congestion and as well ease mobility in urban areas. Uber hopes to do that.

"As major cities grow, the heavy reliance on private car ownership will not be sustainable," said Eric Allison, global head of the firm's aviation division Uber Elevate.

"Uber Air holds enormous potential to help reduce road congestion."

Eric Allison said that with Uber Air, the 19 kilometre journey from Melbourne's central business district to the Airport which usually takes up to hour when using a car will take only 10 minutes with Uber Air.

"Uber's technology is changing the way people move around their cities - from bikes to pooled rides, we are always looking for ways to reduce the need for a private car ownership,"Allison said.

"In the coming years, with Uber Air, we want to make it possible for people to push a button and get a flight."

Uber isn't the only company developing flying taxis, there are several startups also developing flying taxis. Two of Uber's main rivals which are Lilium and Aeromobil, have separately carried out multiple tests of self flying taxis.

While Uber and other companies have chosen to go up the sky and use it for transport, some people say flying taxis won't just cause unnecessary noise but will also pose a risk to people on the ground.

One of the people not in support flying taxis is the head of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk. The Tesla head is also working on eliminating traffic congestion by heading down instead of up, via The Boring Company.

"There will be zillions of these things flying all over the place and, inevitably, somebody's not going to service their car properly and they're going to drop a hubcap and it's going to guillotine somebody," Musk told a crowd in LA last year.

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