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Uber Flying Cars: or pie in the sky dreaming?

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Uber Flying Cars: or pie in the sky dreaming?

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Old 14th Jun 2018, 08:55
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Uber Flying Cars: or pie in the sky dreaming?

Uber considers Melbourne as test sites for UberAir ‘flying cars’ project



FLYING cars summoned with a smartphone could be zipping through the skies above Melbourne within five years.

Victoria’s capital is locked in a battle with Sydney and other world cities to become the first international test bed for the flying vehicles.

Uber executives are meeting Australian politicians, transport authorities and property developers this week about its “flying car” project.



They have even identified possible routes for Uber aircraft they said would slash travel times between Melbourne airport and the city centre to “about five minutes”.

If Melbourne is selected, the Jetsons-style mode of transport could be tested as soon as 2020. And passengers might be able to share short, cheap flights to destinations by 2023.

Los Angeles and Dallas last year became the first two locations to test Uber’s ambitious urban air transport project. But Uber revealed it was also looking for a city outside the US to trial UberAir before the service is rolled out widely.



Uber aviation product head Nikhil Goel said the company had identified Melbourne and Sydney as promising candidates, owing to their population density, proximity to airports, and traffic congestion.

“Both cities are set to double in the next 30 years,” Mr Goel said. “And in congestion costs, both Sydneysiders and Melburnians spend a massive amount of time (in traffic).”

Mr Goel and aviation engineering director Mark Moore will meet transport ministers, regulators, real estate developers, banks, and firms including Qantas, this week to gauge interest. If it proceeds, Uber would work with local developers to build up to 25 “Skyports” in and around the winning city.

Travellers would request an UberAir ride using a smartphone app, catch an Uber car to a Skyport, an UberAir across the city, and another Uber car from the landing Skyport.

Uber’s aircraft would carry four passengers and a qualified pilot. Designed to be quieter and more efficient than helicopters, they would be custom-made electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicles.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has said it would work with companies to “meet challenges” of urban flights.

Mr Moore said “extensive economic modelling” showed that by 2025, the cost would be “similar to UberX”, but it would be more costly before a large network of Skyports and 50-plus aircraft were set up.

Uber is due to announce the successful candidate before the end of the year. But Mr Moore said Australia already had a lead in one criteria: “One thing I’m loving is the weather here. In terms of visual flight moves, compared to London and Munich, I vote for Australia.”

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Old 14th Jun 2018, 09:25
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It's bad enough forcing autonomous cars down our throats, never mind this bollox.
There isn't a hope in hell of driverless cars being main stream for atleast another 20 years. Driver assist yes but to allow a car to drive its passengers unassisted around everywhere we currently drive making all those unscripted decisions we make and extricating oneself out of dodgy situations - is a long long way off.

Uber airborne taxi's - 20 yrs plus.
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 11:07
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PR fail, launching the same week that a fixed wing crashed in a suburban street in Melbourne.
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 14:07
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Grrr

Dreams / Hype /Cobblers Levo.
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 17:32
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All these pretty pictures of mega drones they don't seem to have any batteries.
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Old 14th Jun 2018, 17:52
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Obviously they operate on wifi - DUH!!!

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Old 15th Jun 2018, 00:44
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I laugh at the "quieter than helicopters" claim.

no doubt a comparison could be made that technically my neighbors 2009 Harley Softail is quieter than his highly modified 1000 GSXR...its really pointless because they're both annoying at hell at any time of the day

these uber contraptions will not be quiet. They will be beyond annoying. And people will tire of the constant drone in very short time.
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 04:30
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If the economics made such 'obvious' sense, there would already be R44s doing this - it is 'pie in the sky' - would love to see where they will get the battery technology to make this happen by 2020!
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 04:42
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Do you suppose there will be fires from high charging rates owing to desired fast turnaround?
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 06:13
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These things have only one use - to draw money from gullible people to "invest" in these fantasies of graphic designers and their cgi computers.

If a REAL helicopter with a locally-familiar pilot can't get a direct route from one part of Melbourne through the Moorabbin, Essendon and Tullamarine airspace to another part, how much chance does an Oooober-Choppa have, following its instructions from a call centre in India?
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 07:21
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There's certainly a market for intra-city transport in Sao Paulo info here

400 Helipads !
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 12:47
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The human power to self delude is clearly unlimited!
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 16:17
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Dont need batteries - all solar powered!
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 16:42
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Originally Posted by GrayHorizonsHeli View Post
these uber contraptions will not be quiet. They will be beyond annoying. And people will tire of the constant drone in very short time.
Actually these "uber contraptions" will indeed be very quiet - virtually silent, in fact. They will be as silent as room-temperature fusion power plants. The only sound you will hear is the sobbing and teeth-gnashing of the poor gullible morons who were so foolish as to invest their hard-earned cash in this imaginatory figment.

As others have pointed out - if the actual tasking was in any way feasible it would already be being served by light helicopters, flown by human pilots. Indeed it would have created a market for a new light helicopter with the simplicity of an R44, the masthead design of a B206 and a small integrated twin-engine power plant/gearbox assembly. Sadly that market has not emerged, so the concept clearly isn't viable.

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Old 15th Jun 2018, 18:29
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Quick charge will be done as they slowly descend onto commercial powerlines. Preferably the high tension kind for a real quick boost. ( Bzzzt!)
I shall purchase a Tram Ticket and watch the fire flies.

It must annoy these young Disruptures on their computers that their stuff dont work and that stuff takes time.
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 21:05
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They are deadly serious. I attended a briefing from Uber execs in the Los Angeles basin recently. Download and read their white paper here:

Uber Elevate
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Old 15th Jun 2018, 22:58
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They did the same in Oz this week, prompting John to start this thread. Lovely CGI shots of a 5-seater club-car-seating capsule, under 4 piddly rotors. No comment on how much air those screaming little variable-RPM rotors will have to move to make the thing elevate itself, just a dreamy look on everybody as it glides away from a rooftop helipad to some destination in the sunset.
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Old 16th Jun 2018, 01:57
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Uber is still losing money hand over fist, so their ability to fund or to manage these ambitious efforts is not open ended. However, these announcements do help deflect the focus from the immediate operating results while management works to make the core business sustainable.
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Old 16th Jun 2018, 03:07
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Melbourne (and Sydney) are almost a non-starter with maxed out ATC for the terminal and a difficult management at Tullamarine, who closed helicopter parking airside and forced the new start Air Melbourne to operate to a pad at the Mercedes Benz dealership on the approach road off the Tulla freeway. Which necessitated a vehicle transfer, and for anyone landing airside they have to pay for a Melbourne Airport vehicle to transfer their pax to the outside entrance to the Terminal where they join the check in queues. Air Melbourne boldly attempted airport shuttles with 109Es, but ambition seems to have outstripped demand.

Then there is the odd thing such as baggage, often 2-4 items, way above the capacity of most helicopters used on such jobs.

Quite how Uber think that they can overcome these known problems (Sydney Airport isn't any better), let alone that of city helipads, will be interesting to see. Regardless of their 'White Paper' and discussions with politicians.
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Old 16th Jun 2018, 03:25
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That's not a flying car!
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