Uber says its fleet of flying taxis is just around the corner

The company also released revamped sketches updating images revealed at the first Elevate conference in Dallas previous year that show a new technological development: a pair of stacked co-rotating propellers, which Uber says will make the ride quieter. Dallas and Los Angeles will reportedly be the first two cities Uber Air will operate in.

Eric Allison, who heads Uber's Aviation programs, said the flying vehicles are part of an overall strategy allowing people to do without personal cars.

The Uber Elevate summit announced that NASA has been recruited to handle the urban aircraft technology that would be needed to pull this feat off, and the US Army will reportedly be researching rotor technology.

Eventually, Uber plans to have a fleet of autonomous flying taxis serving customers. The ride-sharing company unveiled its latest research and plans at the second annual Uber Elevate Summit this week. At the back of the aircraft, a forward-facing propeller would provide power for horizontal flight.

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"These concepts are neutral ground that Uber has put together, so we can share insights with all our partners."

NASA's definition of UAM is a safe and efficient system for vehicles, piloted or not, to move passengers and cargo within a city.

Uber's design model specifies that this fully electric vehicle have a cruising speed between 150 to 200 miles per hour, a cruising altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 feet and be able to do trips of up to 60 miles on a single charge. "Finally, point of entry into the eCRMs is limited to one side, simplifying ground crew operations and reducing confusion for riders when they approach their eVTOL vehicle".

Wired said that the Uber network would use aircraft made from a variety of manufacturers. Uber said it has entered into real estate partnerships with Hillwood Properties and Sandstone Properties to develop such sky ports.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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