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Vertical-Takeoff Airplanes Might Be In Uber’s Future

Dorathy Gass

From taxi service to couriers to food delivery and helicopters, Uber is slowly, but surely, expanding its ride-sharing concept along many different venues. So what is next for the company? Vertical-takeoff airplanes seems to be the another platform Uber wants to dominate, according to Jeff Holden, Chief Product Officer.

The CPO recently stated at the annual Nantucket Project conference (an event that celebrates idea-sharing), that within the next ten years or so the company will be exploring the world of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) transport. For those who may not be aware, VTOL is an aircraft that is able to take off and land, hover, and sometimes fly backwards or forwards, vertically. These qualities from a transport would allow people to get from point A to point B much easier, during times of congestion and travel to isolated areas. The speeds of some of these aircrafts can go to up to approximately 250 miles/hour.

Holden revealed this idea while on stage during the event’s Future of Cities panel, and he stated that Uber wants to provide their clients with multiple options when it comes to moving around; adding that an obvious element to look at would be doing something in a three-dimensional manner.

Despite their helicopter option within the plethora of services they provide, the company does not consider flight as one of their selections. However, their CPO did note that any of Uber’s aviation services have been provided specifically for marketing purposes. Carving out VTOL as a transport service within the company would necessitate a massive technology investment, and potentially an even larger investment as it relates to urban infrastructure.

MSN reported that something to consider is the idea that development in VTOL within America has primarily taken place in the military sector. Still, there are a variety of other contractors looking into this, including Airbus’ Silicon Valley division and A3.

But even more interesting than the concept of this idea becoming a reality, is the potential price tag that might be associated with this form of travel. Only time will tell if this indeed comes to fruition, and who may be the lucky ones to be able to access this type of Uber service in the long run.