By Parag Deulgaonkar
RTA, Uber to begin study into pricing models and routes
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority and US-based Uber Technologies will start work to identify best locations for ‘VertiPorts’ – take-off and landing base - for driverless flying cars.
Earlier this week, an Uber official said it has teamed up with Dubai officials to test flying cars within three years.
In a statement sent to Arabian Business, the RTA said it is partnering with Uber to launch a demonstration transportation network of vertical take-off and landing vehicles (VTOLs) by 2020.
“As part of this partnership, we will conduct a joint study into pricing models, people movement, and determining where VTOL routes should be created in the city.
“Additional study as well under this partnership will be for the designs of take-off and landing locations around the city,” it added.
The RTA also confirmed its plans to launch a “demonstration service” with passengers for flying cars in Dubai by 2020.
Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden told a conference in Dallas this week that the company's models suggest flying cars could cost $1.32 (AED4.84) per passenger mile, about the same rate as UberX, and later fall below the cost per mile of an owned vehicle.
In February, RTA and Chinese EHANG Company announced plans to start flying taxi service by July.
A few weeks later, Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of RTA, however, said that the commercial launch of the flying taxi could be delayed until they get a safety certification.