Uber Elevate and Uber Air Explained

Forget the streets, Uber is looking to expand the skies for their next big play in the transportation space. Here’s everything you need to know about Uber Air and Uber Elevate.

What is Uber Elevate?

Uber Elevate is the name of Uber’s broader initiative to develop, deploy and eventually offer consumers an air-based taxi travel service called Uber Air.

In order to bring this vision of futuristic flying cars to life, the Uber Elevate team is said to be working with tech companies to build new kinds of flying vehicles and working with both relevant governments and regulators to create the necessary legal framework for their service to exist.

Hyundai was announced as the first major partner for Uber Elevate at this year’s CES, showing off a full-scale aircraft concept piece at the Las Vegas trade show. Both parties are set to collaborate on a number of infrastructure concepts to support take-off and landing for this new class of vehicles.

What is Uber Air?

Uber Air is the current name for Uber’s in-development air-taxi service.

The idea here is that one day, you will eventually be able to hail a ride from a flying vehicle in the same way that you use Uber and other ride-sharing services nowadays.

What will Uber Air Look like?

Hyundai and Uber gave attendees of this year’s CES a glimpse of what that future might look like at this year’s CES. Branded as the Hyundai S-A1, this flying car-drone hybrid vehicle is designed to take off vertically, transition to wing-borne lift in the air before shifting back to vertical flight in order to safely land.

Hyundai claims the S-A1 is able to fly 60 miles at a time with cruising speeds of up to 180km/hour. It’ll be able to transport up to four passengers at a time and that recharging between flights will take roughly 5-7 minutes.

Initially, the Hyundai S-A1 will require a pilot but Hyundai says the plan is to transition to autonomous flight later down the line.

When will Uber Air launch?

According to Uber, Uber Air is expected to fully launch sometime in 2023.

Ahead of that due-date, Melbourne, Dallas and Los Angeles are set to play host to a number of demonstration flights from as early as 2020.

How much will Uber Air cost?

Hyundai and Uber are remaining quiet on just how much Uber Air will cost but they do say they want the airborne taxi service to be affordable and not just a perk reserved for the rich and famous.

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