Uber says its flying taxis are just 5 years away

Potential design for Uber's 'flying taxis'. Credit: Coventry University

Coventry University is helping Uber develop 'flying taxis' which could be in the skies by 2020.

The Uber Elevates project is developing a new type of aircraft to transport people on ride-sharing flights in major cities worldwide.

It is hoped the urban air taxis will reduce road traffic congestion and pollution.

“Our daily commute is going to transform and we may be given the ultimate commuting choice to drive, ride or fly. “These vehicles are not just the subject of science fiction films – they could be flying above our cities in the next decade. But there are many hurdles to overcome before that point. “Safety is paramount and we have to thoroughly understand the functional hazards that could result in a failure of these vehicles. We must reassure both commuters and aviation authorities that these are safe before we move commuting in our major cities to the skies.

Dr Mike Bromfield, a flight safety researcher at Coventry University
Potential design for Uber's 'flying taxis'. Credit: Coventry University

The proposed models use battery technology, lightweight materials and have stacked propellers.

They are quieter, safer, more affordable and more environmentally-friendly than conventional aircrafts and helicopters.

“The closer we get to moving riders by way of eVTOL technologies, the more important it becomes to advance the state of the art for these aircraft. “Our existing partners are experts in their respectivg e fields, and it’s our job to equip them with the tools and resources needed to make urban aviation transit a reality."

Mark Moore, Uber’s director of aviation engineering