Most of us saw Back To The Future’s flying cars and thought, Great, bring on it, looks amazing! And here we are in 2020, and so far no flying cars!
Or are there? Melbourne is slated to be one of the first cities in the world to trial Uber’s flying service. The helicopter-like vehicles are designed to fly driverless at speeds of up to 290 kilometers per hour.
Uber has named this ambitious project the Elevate aerial rideshare network. And Melbourne was named as one of three global cities where the service will commence testing. Along with Dallas and Los Angeles in the US, Melbourne is set to host Uber Elevate trials at a yet to be disclosed date this year.
It is now possible to see what these aerial taxis will look like, as Uber Elevate and Hyundai (the first automotive partner) unveiled their new full-scale aircraft concept model at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Dubbed S-A1, the Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) has been designed to cruise at speeds of up to 290 kilometers per hour (similar to a helicopter), flying around 300–600 meters above the ground on trips of up to 100 kilometers in distance.
Hyundai is lending its manufacturing credibility to Uber’s plan to launch an urban air taxi system by the mid-2020s. Based on the specs, though, Hyundai’s Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) will have two tilt-rotors on the tail, and 10 other rotors distributed around the egg-shaped cabin. The aircraft is designed to take off vertically, transition to wing-borne lift in cruise, and then transition back to vertical flight to land.
Sounds like science fiction, but the reality is you or someone you know could be flying about Melbourne on one of these futuristic vehicles! We look forward to seeing if this project has wings!