is to launch to replace its taxis.
The company hopes to have people flying around on special platforms that can take off vertically and carry people to their destination, the company has said in a major press conference.
The flying vehicles will be made available at a similar cost to the existing UberX service and eventually be much cheaper than owning a traditional or flying vehicle, Uber head of product Jeff Holden said.
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The company has already . And it said it was talking to authorities such as Nasa itself and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association about how to approve its flying vehicles.
It hopes to have the taxis go into operation by 2020 in Dallas Fort Worth, it suggested. It will have demo vehicles available in Dubai by the same year.
If they were introduced, the hovering taxis could cut down a journey across San Francisco from 30 minutes to three minutes, the company suggested during the press conference.
Uber was keen to refer to the new taxis as electric vertical take off and landing (VTOL) vehicles, rather than flying cars. That’s because they work more like a helicopter or hoverboard, though they can take off more quietly and without the same disruption.
The announcement came at the beginning of its three day Elevate conference in Dallas. That will see it and other companies looking at flying vehicles seek to work together, with Uber suggesting that it wouldn’t want to build the hardware for flying cars itself.
The conference and announcement came after a rough time for Uber, which has seen it and .