【飞在空中的出租车:优步的未来战略】

【飞在空中的出租车:优步的未来战略】优步已经完成了一套 98 页的飞行出租车计划,希望与不同制造商合作,使用电动飞机实现乘客的空中搭载。官方声称地面上2小时12分钟的车程,在空中只需要15分钟,100英里的行程仅需要充电一次,且可垂直升降,彻底改变通勤情况。计划将在2021年开始推进。

Uber's flying taxi plan revealed: Firm hopes to sign aircraft makers up to 'Elevate' service and launch in 2026

By STACY LIBERATORE

It was once a vision portrayed only in science fiction movies, but Uber has released a 98-page plan for a flying taxi service.

The firm hopes to utilise electric aircraft being developed by several different manufacturers for its service, which will be called Uber elevate.39C7AA5F00000578-0-image-a-4_1477596597928

It claims the flying taxis could revolutionise commuting - completing a two hour and 12 minute car ride will only be 15 minutes in the air.

Dubbed Uber Elevate, the ride-hailing giant plans to design these taxis to take off and land vertically, travel 100 miles on a single charge and has set 2021 as the ready date.

Many are familiar with flying cars from watching the 1960s cartoon The Jetsons or Back to the future films.39C7AA6D00000578-0-image-a-14_1477597428513

However, one of the first times people set their eyes on what could be a flying car was in 1929 on the cover of a Popular Science magazine.

Page 19 shows 'two views of the remarkable new combination flivver plane and automobile'.

One image displays a full-size airplane, with a propeller and unfolded wings and next to it is the same plane but folded up to function as an automobile.39C7AA6400000578-0-image-a-16_1477597433055

Although our vision of what a flying car looks like has changed over the years, our desire to own a one has not.

Uber says its new innovation would cut commuter time drastically – the two-hour-and-10-minute battle through the always jammed Sao Paolo gridlock could be chopped down to an 18-minute flight.39C7AA7200000578-0-image-a-15_1477597430850

'On-demand aviation, has the potential to radically improve urban mobility, giving people back time lost in their daily commutes,' shares Uber in the white paper.

'Uber is close to the commute pain that citizens in cities around the world feel.'

'We view helping to solve this problem as core to our mission and our commitment to our rider base.'

Although Uber put together the detailed vision of this project, the firm has no plans to build or design the crafts, reports Wired's Alex Davis.

Instead, they look to collaborate with outside parties who will take on the grunt work of laying out technical plans, regulatory issues and infrastructural problems.

However, Uber does have an idea of how the electric aircraft will operate – a vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) plane with the ability to fly 100 miles on a single charge at 150 mph max.

These VTOL flying cars would include fixed wings with tilt prop-rotors, which also makes for a much quieter ride.

Uber says its design will be 15 decibels quieter than traditional helicopters.

And the firm sees using preexisting urban heliports and skyscrapers as launch and landing pads.

Unlike some of the designs on the market, Uber's has enough room for a pilot and multiple passengers.

However, this idea is much different than what the firm sees with its self-driving ground cars - Uber co-founder and chief executive officer Travis Kalanick has said that the company's goal is to replace human drivers with driverless vehicles as 'quickly as possible'.

The paper does say, 'Over time it's highly likely that VTOLs will become autonomous, though we expect that initial operations will require pilots.'

'Utilizing pilots in the initial period permits a strategy of building up statistical proof for FAA certification while slowly increasing the level of automation.'

The firm also included what it believes these crafts will cost – a low production rate of 12 units per year, each unit will run about $1.2 million.

However, if Uber produces 500 units a year, the cost drastically falls to $600,000 and at 5,000 units a year it will cost $200,000.

'We assume a design life of 25-27k hours for the VTOL to permit 13 years of service with the 2080 hour/year utilization,' Uber shares in the white paper.

'This enables the vehicle to provide 400,000 miles of service each year and about 5 million miles of service life before the aircraft is salvaged at a residual value of 30%.'

Uber Elevate is set to be ready by 2021, but will officially roll out in 20126 – which is a few years after Airbus expects to take their share of the sky.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3879954/Uber-s-flying-taxi-plan-revealed-Firm-hopes-sign-aircraft-makers-Elevate-service-launch-2026.html


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