Finally, my promised Jetson future is close to arriving:
Uber executives continue to grapple with a host of challenges, but that hasn’t put the brakes on the company’s futuristic — and somewhat outlandish — plans to develop a network of flying taxis.
The project gained a bit more altitude at Tuesday’s kickoff of the two-day Uber Elevate conference in Los Angeles to discuss urban air transportation. Uber’s high-flying venture comes against the backdrop of terrestrial problems, from taxi industry pushback in cities such as London to political fallout due to a self-driving car death in Arizona.
The San Francisco-based ride-hailing service announced new partnerships with government officials and aviation manufacturers aimed at further developing electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or eVTOL for short. Uber’s air taxi would use wing-mounted propellers to provide lift, as with a helicopter, and a tail-mounted propeller to generate forward thrust, as with a plane.