Yesterday, I landed at Tokyo’s Narita Airport at around 4 in the evening. From the airport to my hotel it took me approximately 2 hours and that’s when it wasn’t the rush hour. With the rise of the population and the evergrowing number of vehicles, there seems to be no respite from traffic jams. Most cities like Tokyo have a reached a threshold on the of roads, flyovers, bridges and underpass that can be built. So, what’s the solution?
In the past, we have seen Uber testing Uber Choppers (Helicopter Rides) in various markets to cut down on travel times but due to the high cost and the infrastructure required it didn’t seem like a complete solution.
Today at the Uber Elevate, Asia Pacific Expo in Tokyo, Japan. Uber announced the most viable and futuristic approach to combat the traffic problem – Uber Air.
At the expo, the company announced five shortlisted finalist countries that could be home to the first international Uber Air City within the next five years. Additionally, Uber Elevate announced plans to experiment with drone delivery for Uber Eats and demonstrated how potential Uber Air routes in Asia Pacific cities could benefit, and complement, local transportation systems.
Head of Uber Aviation Programs Eric Allison said, “We are proud to host the first ever Uber Elevate Asia Pacific Expo, showcasing the exciting future Uber Air can bring to the region and to the world. In pursuit of our first international launch market, where you will be able to push a button and get a flight, we are announcing a shortlist of five countries where Uber Air can immediately transform transportation and take our technology to new heights. We want to thank the attendees of the Expo who got a first peek at Uber Eats delivered by drones, potential future routes where Uber Air will fly people across cities in the Asia Pacific region, and many other ways Uber is creating a new future of truly multimodal transportation.”
Eric Allison, Head of Aviation @Uber talks about how #UberAir will make a ride from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, #Mumbai to Churchgate Railway Station possible in 10 minutes as compared to 100 minutes by car. #UberElevate pic.twitter.com/Ru7RpnnUUt
— The Unbiased Blog (@TheUnbiasedBlog) August 30, 2018
With Uber Air, people of Mumbai will be able to commute from Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport to Churchgate Railway Station in 10 minutes. Similarly, people of Delhi will be able to commute from Connaught Place to Gurugram covering 20 kms in 10 minutes or less.
At the expo, Honourable Daisaku Hiraki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said, “I am very pleased that Uber’s first-ever Elevate APAC Expo took place in Japan. We see much potential in flying cars, and we anticipate that flying cars can be used not only to help solve traffic congestion in urban areas, but it will also help with increasing mobility between city centres and remote islands and mountainous areas, promote tourism in Japan as well as enhance disaster relief operations. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced on 29 August that the Investments for the Future Strategy 2018 will consist of launching a Joint Public-Private Sector conference to revolutionise the aviation mobility industry. I believe the public and private sectors, including companies outside of Japan, should work collaboratively to develop this new technology. I am confident that Japan has the potential to become a leader in aviation innovation.”
Do let us know what do you think of Uber Air as a new means of transportation in the near future. You can tweet to us @theunbiasedblog or leave a comment below.