Dallas, Fort Worth will become the test cities for Uber’s flying vehicle network
By Sarah Martin
Contributor, In Military
Uber has just announced that it will be using the Dallas/Fort Worth area as its testing ground for its new intra-urban flying vehicle endeavor. They will be the first U.S. partner cities that will be home to what Uber calls the “Uber Elevate Network,” making flying car trips a reality.
Uber is hoping to be able to demonstrate what the concept would look like to have a flying network of vehicles in the next three years. The plan would include vertiports, or sites for passenger pickup and drop-off. Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth will be partnering with Uber to help create the flying vehicles, which will take flight through a vertical takeoff and landing. Bell wants to develop an electric airborne vehicle, using propulsion technology that is quieter than a traditional helicopter. Bell chief executive, Mitch Snyder, reported to the local paper, “It’s not going to happen right away, tomorrow, but the technology is definitely there. We definitely believe the hybrid electric is something we could go make and fly right now. But I think full electric, to give it the range and everything you want out of it, is not quite there.”
Even though Uber posted a huge loss last year and has battled several public scandals, the company is very optimistic about this future endeavor. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings shares their enthusiasm, stating it will be a great opportunity for Dallas to show the world why his city should be part of the movement to advance urban mobility. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price stated she was “thrilled” her city will be taking part in the Elevate project.
Uber boosts the benefits of Elevate as being “a cheap alternative to building new roads and expanding public transit,” even though Mayor Rawlings emphasizes that he plans to maintain the multiple transportation options offered in the city to accommodate all its citizens.