Flying Taxis

Sustainability Problem: Traffic Congestion and Carbon Emission

Transportation is one of the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities. Over 90 percent of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum based, which includes gasoline and diesel.

Solution: Uber, the ridesharing company wants to deploy flying taxis in Dallas, Texas and Dubai by 2020. These taxis would be electric, would have vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability, and would be quiet enough to operate in urban areas.

  • Called as Autonomous Air Taxi (AAT), the vehicle is environmentally friendly, powered by electricity, and the prototype version has a maximum flight time of 30 minutes, at a cruising speed of 50 km/h (31 mph), and a maximum airspeed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
  • As with longer-distance flights, the advantage of flying taxis would be low travel times. They could cut the travel time between San Francisco’s downtown Marina and San Jose down to 15 minutes from the two hours it takes to make the same trip by road.
  • Costs should be reasonable as well. In early, small-scale operations, Uber believes it can achieve costs of $1.32 per passenger miles, slightly higher than taking UberX over the same distance. Though as technology evolves and flying taxis gain popularity, cost will fall below that of cars.
  • While it will take some time to put in the infrastructure to park and charge these taxies they are bound to create a more comfortable and time saving travel experience, while reducing significant amounts of carbon emissions.

Stakeholders: City transport and aviation authorities, private companies willing to invest in and operate flying taxis, manufactures and operators of charging stations for electric cars, city residents.

Deployment: Before the flying taxis start commercial operation:

  • Companies manufacturing these vehicles will have to pilot test these for operational, efficiency and safety measures.
  • Operating and charging companies will have to work closely with transportation and aviation authorities
  • Operating companies will have to coordinate with charging and infrastructure companies.
  • General awareness among city residents along with highlighting safety issues


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One thought on “Flying Taxis

  1. I wonder how safe this is? Will the flying taxi’s collide with airplanes? I can see the interest from the rich Arab nation. However, I wonder how feasible it will be to implement it in a city like Dubai given it’s tall infrastructure.


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