Every year, Uber holds a conference called Elevate that brings together thought leaders from around the world to participate in workshops and networking events with the transportation company’s employees and executives. Uber also uses this annual summit as an opportunity to announce new initiatives––like a fleet of flying taxis.
This is the very idea Uber focused on at this year’s Elevate conference in Washington, D.C. earlier this June. As TechCrunch reports, details are few surounding the new offering, but what they have shared looks pretty comparable to any other helicopter you’d see flying around in the near future.
The aircraft will reportedly fit four passengers, but don’t expect all of the special details and conveniences you see with ground-bound Ubers. You won’t find cup holders or chargers in the designs, or even seat back pockets. France-based aerospace company Safran designed the interior of the helicopters and shared that small elements like this were disregarded as “busy” details––the focus is more on getting people to and from their destinations quickly. While the details are robust, the overall experience has been given a lot of thought. The seats face toward the window, meaning you don’t have to have an awkward conversation with a fellow traveler unless you want to. The seats are also upholstered in leather.
There seem to be more details around the potential routes––or at least travel times––of this service. Uber shared that the first cities to get their aircraft will be Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles and that each trip is expected to last no longer than 20 minutes. There’s no official word on how much these rides will cost, but they have shared that they will most likely cost less than a traditional helicopter ride.
Don’t expect to see any Ubers in the sky until at least 2023. The company projects that it will begin testing the design in 2020. One thing’s for sure: the views are going to be great.