Uber Just Announced Melbourne As The First International 'Uber Air' Test Hub

Uber Elevate set to take off in Australia with flying taxi trial in Melbourne

Several companies are developing flying taxis as a future mode of transportation.

Uber Air shuttles could soon be a familiar sight in the skies above Melbourne.

"This, coupled with Melbourne's unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the ideal third launch city for Uber Air".

"Uber Air holds enormous potential to help reduce road congestion".

The announcement was made at the company's Elevate summit in Washington after sealing the deal with Melbourne Airport and companies Macquarie Capital, Scentre Group and Telstra.

Uber's planned air fleet includes electric jet-powered vehicles - part helicopter, part drone and part fixed-wing aircraft - running multiple small rotors capable of both vertical take-off and landing and rapid horizontal flight.

Melbourne will join Los Angeles and Dallas as pilot cities for the program, with test flights beginning in 2020 ahead of plans for a full commercial operation from 2023.

Susan Anderson, regional general manager for Uber Australia, said she expected other Australian cities to adopt the service. Eric Allison, global head of Uber Elevate, said a trip from Melbourne's CBD to its airport would usually take between 25 minutes to an hour, but with Uber Air it'll be reduced to 10 minutes.

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Uber Air" "skyports' will likely spring up atop the auto parks of Westfield shopping centres.

The Uber Air service is created to work in tandem with Uber's auto service as a "multimodal" option that helps speed passengers to their destinations.

Victorian government assistant treasurer said the trial is an example of the state's innovation and "transformative technologies".

Uber on Tuesday selected Melbourne, Australia, as the first non-US city for its aerial ridesharing service that is expected to launch in 2023, as it unveiled new partners for the ambitious initiative.

A concept for Uber's electric "flying taxi" project, due to launch in Melbourne in 2020.

This calculus has something to do with "autonomous scale manufacturing" of the helicopters, and increased use of them for heli-pooling.

"In the coming years, with Uber Air, we want to make it possible for people to push a button and get a flight", he said.

"We are curious to understand the role our platform may be able to play in the delivery of Australia's future mobility options and how this could integrate with current ground transport which already includes ridesharing", Scentre chief strategy and business development officer Cynthia Whelan said.

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