Rise services like Uber, and food services like Uber Eats, Menu Log and Post mates have been incredibly popular over the last few years and there’s no sign of that stopping anytime soon. With demand for new ways of transport increasing, there’s been a new development in progress to accomodate.
Plans to bring a low-flying air taxi service to Australian cities by companies such as Uber are credible and could be in place within five years, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority says. CASA spokesman, Peter Gibson said he had seen proposals for low-altitude air taxi services that would fly people between locations such as an airport and the central business district of a large city all in a matter of minutes, for approximately the same price of a train fare.
“There are companies, and I’m talking about big multinational companies, investing big dollars,” Mr Gibson said. “We are talking about hundreds of millions, if not billions.” he continued.
Following the announcement this year that Uber was considering including Melbourne or Sydney among the launch cities for its Elevate project, many Australians are eager to be . in the run to be among the first to try the service. The project involves an electric aircraft able to take people between specific points within a city and was already slated to fly in Dallas and Los Angeles in the United States, and the company is considering nine cities, including Sydney and Melbourne, outside the US to trial the project in.
Due to the popularity of Uber Eats, restaurateurs are now alleging Uber Eats imposes “unfair contracts.” An ABC investigation reveals that Uber Eats’ contracts may breach Australian consumer law. Although, it seems the service will go ahead.
Mr Gibson said Uber had already approached CASA to discuss regulatory issues around the use of air taxis, and he said there were few barriers to what the company was proposing because the regulatory framework to allow it was already there.
“It’s a bit like you can just go and charter a helicopter at Brisbane to go to the Sunshine Coast,” he said. “That’s all they’re doing, but they’re doing it in an electric aircraft controlled by a traffic management system and they’re doing it a price point cheaper than you could hire a helicopter.” he followed.
According to Mr Gibson, the pitch Uber gave to CASA indicated the service would, initially at least, involve human pilots who were specially trained and more than capable of monitoring the aircraft’s progress and step in if something went wrong. According to the company, it would need millions of hours of flying time before they would consider allowing the aircraft to operate with complete autonomy, if at all in the future. But developing a traffic management system that would allow aircraft to fly autonomously would be easier than designing one to allow driverless ground vehicles, because there were fewer hazards for the system to deal with. According toMr Gibson, Uber was not the only company looking to Australia because of its easier regulatory environment.
After only being just a mere concept just a little over a year ago, Boeing executives are now convinced they are on the right path to developing on-demand autonomous air taxis. Boeing has now released video of a test flight showing its autonomous passenger air vehicle lifting off, hovering for a short time before making a controlled and safe landing. Although the test flight in Manassas, Virginia, didn’t last very long, the prototype is making incredibly fast paced progress into making Uber Air an everyday and easily accessible point of transport.
“In one year we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype,” Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop said in a statement.
Of course, there are a also lot of obstacles before that happens 100%, although Uber remains hopeful by targeting a launch of Uber Air by 2023.
“We will unlock the potential of the urban air mobility market,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, the aerospace giant’s subsidiary developing autonomous air taxis.