NEED A LIFT

Driven - - Tech Tune-up - Im­age © UNLOCKAR.COM

Civil­ian airspace seems to be the only un­tapped re­source in the race for ride­hail­ing com­pa­nies look­ing to take com­muters out of cars and into its fly­ing taxis. Uber is the lat­est to re­veal its plans for sky-based taxi ser­vices which, it hopes, will take flight by 2023. It plans to utilise bat­tery-elec­tric pow­ered VTOL (Ver­ti­cal Take-Off and Land­ing) air­craft that will be pro­pelled by four ro­tors pro­vid­ing lift, while only a sin­gle rear-mounted ro­tor will pro­vide forward thrust. Ac­cord­ing to Uber, its pas­sen­ger drones will only op­er­ate at an al­ti­tude of be­tween one and two thou­sand feet above the ground, while speed won’t ex­ceed 463 km/h — as reg­u­lated by the FAA at al­ti­tudes un­der 10,000 feet, or around 3,000 me­tres. Uber also added that a sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenge in the project is the rel­a­tive short­age of com­mer­cially qual­i­fied pi­lots ver­sus the pos­si­ble de­mand for the com­mut­ing ser­vice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.