NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Uber has released new information about its upcoming air taxi service it prepares to launch in North Texas in the next five years.
It’s called UberAir, and the goal is to save passengers a lot of time by flying them around different places in the DFW region instead of sitting in traffic.
Leandre Johns, Manager of Public Affairs for Uber Texas said, “Now, you are gaining time back into your life. That time can be spent with family members, with friends because that trip that was taking you from to Dallas to Fort Worth, 45 minutes to an hour, can take place in 15 minutes.
The vehicles called VTOL, for vertical take-off and landing, would be similar to a helicopter — but all-electric.
At first, a pilot would fly customers between Frisco and DFW International Airport — then eventually, the vehicles would fly themselves.
The company says it’s too early to say exactly how much it would cost passengers.
“We do see this getting to the point where this is affordable, the price of an Uber-X, to and from where you need to go,” said Johns.
The company said it selected DFW as an inaugural region because of all the sprawl — and Frisco specifically after they noticed the traffic patterns. “With traffic being the thing we’re looking to avoid with Uber Air, there was an opportunity to move people to Frisco in a much more efficient and faster way, given all the development going on and an increase in traffic.”
Hillwood, which is developing the mixed-use project of Frisco Station, will build the verti-port for UberAir.
Josh Goad, Land Development Manager for Hillwood said, “In the future, we really have to start thinking at how this plays a role in the future of the development, whether it’s on a parking garage or its on the ground, inside our development further in or closer to the tollway.”
As demand grows, Johns says Uber envisions additional air taxi service. “It could be something like DFW to downtown Dallas, DFW to Fort Worth DFW to Arlington. These are other large nexis points we know are in the region.”
While Uber plans to launch service in 2023, its first test flight will be in 2020.
The FAA will certify the vehicles are airworthy.