Doubts raised as US tech giant launches search for international city in which to carry out tests
Doubts have emerged about plans by tech giant Uber to test flying cars during the Dubai's Expo 2020 event after the company launched a search for an international city to launch operations.
To bring uberAIR to market, the company said in a statement that it plans to partner with three ‘launch cities’.
Dubai, Dallas and Los Angeles were muted last year but while the US cities remain, Uber said it is now seeking an international city as the third partner.
These three cities will be the first to offer uberAIR flights, with the goals of operating demonstrator flights starting in 2020 and beginning commercial operations in 2023, the statement said.
Uber said it had reopened its selection process to include other cities which fit more of its criteria for showcasing how flying taxis can help to relieve urban congestion.
A spokeswoman was quoted as saying: "Dubai has previously expressed an interest in (Uber's) vision but we are broadening the pool given interest from other cities which is why we have launched this criteria and process," adding that talks with Dubai will continue.
Last year, Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden was quoted as saying the company was also working with real estate companies in Dubai to build landing pads for the flying cars.
On Wednesday, Uber said the opportunity is open to any city outside the US where there is a desire for a dramatic improvement in transportation and conditions are conducive to urban air mobility.
"We are seeking cities where national and local policymakers are committed to enabling the adoption of new transportation technologies," the statement said.
It added: "At the core, this is a partnership - Uber is seeking a city partner who is as excited about the aerial ridesharing future as we are and who is committed to overcoming obstacles, foreseen and unforeseen, in bringing uberAIR to market.
"Importantly, we are not looking for cities to provide tax breaks or local incentives. Rather, we are looking for cities with aspirational vision who are investing in their transportation systems and wish to bring uberAIR to market for their residents as quickly as possible."
Interested governments should contact their Uber public affairs contact or email the Uber Elevate team at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 1.
Between the Flying taxis and the Hyperloop train, Dubai is gonna be the most modern city on earth.. Well done! Sebastien Elbied