Going somewhere? The Sky is the limit!
Technological breakthroughs in different areas that greatly affect human activity have changed how the world works. The faces of technology may change and may continue to evolve, but they always have one purpose and that is to advance modern day living. From simple machines up to complex gadgets, these, in one way or another, have made human living simpler, easier, and better.
In every home, there is an electric fan, stove, oven, rice cooker, blender, air conditioner, telephone, cell phones and chargers, and television. These simple technological tools contribute to comfortable living. Outside the streets and in certain locations, there are different modes of transportation that could bring people to their destination. There are bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, vans, buses, trains, ships and airplanes. All of these constitute a phenomenal collective term, called technology.
Every technological debut is warm-heartedly received by the general population. When the first airplane was introduced to the public, the world was in awe. It was a revolutionizing idea. People ride in airplanes, arriving at their destinations in minutes or hours. Friends who live continents away now have a chance to meet through a single flight. Through riding planes, an American can have his or her breakfast in India, take his or her lunch in China, and enjoy his or her dinner in Russia. All of these activities can be done within a day! Because of these, different businesses opened up to cater to the demand of having a faster and more convenient transportation.
Nowadays, brilliant minds continue to formulate winning ideas that would revolutionize the means of transportation. Motivated by business competency and innovative instincts, one of the largest transportation businesses have ambitioned on starting an electric flying taxi and that it will be reigning the skies in 2020. The company garnering quite the attention is none other than Uber. The vehicle is qualified as a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) transport. Okay, it sounds crazy… and if you think so, too, then, you may be thinking about some challenges that this may implicate, but Uber is serious as it kicked off Uber Elevate Summit in Dallas, Texas just early this year, 2017. It is surely taking the rides up in the sky! In the conference, Uber discussed about its city partnerships, aviation manufacturers, electric charging companies, and their VTOLs capabilities. Uber is teaming up with the governments of Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai, where they will be first demonstrated and introduced. It also partnered with Hilwood Properties in Dallas to identify sites that can build as vertiports which Uber call as takeoff and landing pads. It came into agreement with 5 manufacturers whose vested with tasks of working on the design and the producing lightweight electrically-powered VTOL vehicle. The 5 manufacturers are Bell Helicopters, Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipestrel Aircraft, Mooney, and Embraer. In making charging stations, Uber teamed up with ChargePoint. The envisioned flying taxi is expected to be small but large enough to carry the pilot and some passengers. They are electrically-powered that takeoff and land vertically. Moreover, they produce zero emissions and are 15 decibels quieter so as not to contribute to the noise pollution of cities. Uber stands proud on claiming that a usual 2-hour ride from San Francisco’s Marina to San Jose would only take 15 minutes through the flying taxi. Who would not want that! Now, everything implicates cost and this brilliant invention could cost up to billions to envision alone. How much more when they become operational? Would they cost much just like a flight fare? Uber’s Chief Product Officer, Jeff Holden, states that a mile in the sky would cost a little higher than a mile on the ground for the first tries of the flying taxi, but Uber is confident that the cost will cut down in the long term, even lesser than car ownership.
All of these are quite promising, but… There is a big but! The runway’s not just crystal clear yet. How can Uber not contribute to the congested air space? Isn’t this project too ambitious, putting the aspiration way before the idea of going broke because of its grandiose? Uber would also need to comply with the air service rules and be accredited by a third party as a safe transportation means. And hey, 2020 is nearer than you think, taking into account that Uber is still in the process of finalizing negotiations and initial major decisions.
With a single tap on the phone, you could get an Uber taxi service. In the Philippines, you can get a motor ride. Who would have ever thought that ‘push a button, take a flight’ would become a reality soon! Get ready and embrace yourselves, the world will be in awe as soon as Uber will officially operate its very own air service that would continue to advance the power of technology. Truly, the sky is the limit!