Uber Air announces Melbourne as trial city for flying taxi service

Flying Uber trial to take place in Melbourne from 2020

The first test city, originally planned to be Dubai, will now be Melbourne, Australia, as the company announced today.

He said the 19 kilometre journey from Melbourne's central business district to the airport would take some 10 minutes with Uber Air, down from up to an hour by vehicle.

"This, coupled with Melbourne's unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the ideal third launch city for Uber Air".

Last year, the company met with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to discuss the regulatory and safety issues for Uber Air.

Uber Air's shuttles will carry four passengers and their hand luggage.

The really wild part is that Uber plans on starting test flights as early as 2020 and hopes to have the program commercially viable and available to the public by 2023 - which, if you couldn't tell, is an incredibly short timeline.

The aerial option will be included on the Uber smartphone app that will include ground and air transportation and pool travelers into one aircraft.

Like Uber's auto service, prices will vary based on demand, but the company expects the typical fare to be between $200 and $225 per person.

Airbus is trialling its own air taxi service using a prototype electric aircraft, similar to a drone, which can take off and land vertically.

Macquarie Capital said it would work with Uber Elevate on the development and electrification of the skyports that would support vertical takeoff and landing, as well as help determine the best market structures and models for the infrastructure.

Uber Air" "skyports' will likely spring up atop the auto parks of Westfield shopping centres.

Last month, a class action lawsuit was filed against Uber, on behalf of thousands of Australian taxi and hire auto drivers, for allegedly operating illegally which provided the company with an unfair competitive advantage.

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

If the trial is successful, Uber plans to introduce the service to Sydney, offering flights from the CBD to the Central Coast.

"Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology", Susan Anderson, Regional General Manager for Uber in Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, said in an emailed statement. "Uber Air will be a mass-market product serving daily and casual commuters as an alternative to driving into and out of congested urban areas", the submission read.

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