a group of airplanes on a runway

Los Angeles, California- home to the mega rich, the skinny latte, the most beautiful palm trees and of course, some of the world’s most hellacious traffic. As the world navigates it’s way toward our major metropolises (that’s a word, apparently), commutes are not getting better. But fear not- because Uber says it will genuinely launch flying taxis in 2020, starting in Los Angeles.

a digital art of a flying droneRecent news that electric aircraft are nearly ready for take off was very exciting, but this is a game changer. Goodbye 405 freeway and hello friendly skies! Officially dubbed “UberAir”, the company promises to supply the software and booking platform, while “Aviation manufacturers such as Embraer, Bell Helicopter, Pipistrel, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Mooney Aviation will supply and pilot the aircraft”, according to the very reliable LA Times. The company has already negotiated space in Sherman Oaks, Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and LAX.

a drone flying over a cityIt could be said, this is the beginning of the “point to point” revolution. Much like commercial air travel, orders for the largest aircraft largely dried up, in favor of smaller aircraft which could offer more direct routes, landing at more regional locations. We’re sick of layovers, or changing subway stations, right? Uber, ferrying passengers from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica – or Burbank to Hollywood is a perfect foray into revolutionizing “the commute”, hopefully cutting down on time, hassle and…

a group of small airplanes on a runwayBy now- you’re already covering your eyes in fear of price. But your worries are without merit. Electric aircraft instantly bring price points down, and as technology transitions from needing pilots in the early 2020’s to driverless in the late 2020’s, Uber believes prices will rival current UberX car options on the ground. “L.A. is a model city for this in that it’s highly congested from a traffic perspective, and there’s not a great mass transit relief on the horizon,” said Uber’s Chief Product Officer, Mark Holden. The company expects to do tens of thousands of flights a day, eventually all by driverless air taxi. The future- it’s coming, like it or not.

Are you excited?

HT: ViewFromTheWing 

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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