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11 - Jan - 2019

Uber in Partnership with Bell Unveil Flying Taxi at CES

Uber in Partnership with Bell unveiled flying taxi prototypes -under the Uber Elevate Initiative- at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The Uber Elevate initiative is seeking to fast-track the process of bringing flying taxis to the world.

The 6,000lb vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft resembles both a drone and a helicopter. It is expected to take to the skies by 2023, and will be able to sit five people.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Matt Louis, aerodynamics engineer at Bell said: “It's an urban air mobility vehicle so what that means is we're going to carry people or things in kind of an on-demand way.”

“So similar to calling an Uber, we'll have a network of these vehicles available as an air taxi, or if you're a logistics company, we would have a network of these vehicles to take things from distribution center to distribution center.”

Scott Drennan, director of innovation at Bell, told The Verge: “This is not a toy. This is an aircraft you would feel safe and comfortable bringing your family into.”

Mark Moore, engineering director of aviation at Uber, said: “We’re very excited about what Bell is doing. There are many companies out there developing [eVTOL] demonstrators.

“At Uber, we’re facilitating this entirely new transportation system because we are the link to the users.”

A number of other companies are also developing concepts for flying taxis. British firm Rolls-Royce is looking to develop a high speed flying taxi with vertical landing and one which will carry up to five people.

The flying taxi will travel at 250mph for up to 500 miles meaning it will take just 20minutes to fly between London and Birmingham.

By Airport Pickups London