Uber picks Melbourne as 1st worldwide check site for flying taxi service

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Uber Technology said it will use Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, as the 1st worldwide check site for the group’s planned flying taxi service. The United States ride-sharing firm had previously selected Dubai as the 1st check site outside the US for its UberAIR service but reopened its ask for proposals previous month after release delays in the Middle Eastern city.

Uber declared on Tuesday it will start test flights of the pilotless aircraft in Melbourne and US cities Dallas and Los Angles in 2020 before commercial operations begin in 2023. “Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technologies,” Susan Anderson, Regional General Manager for Uber in Australia, New Zealand, and North Asia, declared in an emailed declaration.

“This, coupled with Melbourne’s unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the perfect third release city for Uberti .” The test flights will transport passengers from one of 7 Westfield shopping centers in Melbourne to the city’s main international airport. The 19km journey from the central business district to the airport is expected to take ten minutes by air, compared with the 25 minutes it usually takes by car.

The electrical, on-demand air taxis can be ordered by customers through smartphone applications in the same way Uber’s road-based taxi alternatives are hailed. Uber’s planned air fleet contains electric jet-powered vehicles — part helicopter, part drone, and part fixed-wing — running several small rotors capable of both vertical take-off and landing and rapid horizontal flight.

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