Uber unveils plans to create electric vehicles with vertical takeoff and landing capability that can cover 100 miles in just 40 minutes.

Uber unveils ambitious plans to take ridesharing to the air and promises to present flying cars in Dallas-Fort Worth and, of course, Dubai by 2020.

Perhaps, the word ‘ambitious’ doesn’t reflect the entire picture as neither electric vehicles with vertical takeoff and landing capability that can cover 100 miles in just 40 minutes, nor the infrastructure to support them, actually exist yet.

If Uber manages to complete the development of such a vehicle, it should also get approval of the FAA. The agency must ensure these aircraft meets all federal safety regulations and figure out where and how they fit into a complex air traffic control system. In recent months, the FAA has been rather open to certify new technologies.

Along with the plans themselves, Uber unveils how it is hoping to fulfil these plans. It appears that Uber is going to play the role of a catalyst encouraging manufacturers to develop the vehicle, the FAA to figure out the regulations, and cities to wave them in. It looks like company CEO Travis Kalanick wants to try on the role of Elon Musk, who lets everyone realize his idea of hyperloop.

A successful manufacturer will be rewarded an access to Uber’s 55 million monthly active riders in nearly 600 cities worldwide.

“I think 2020 is realistic for a vehicle that is not replacing an airplane but replacing a car,” says Richard Pat Anderson, director of the Flight Research Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. A purely electric aircraft is expected to remain elusive, but a serial hybrid setup—where the aircraft carries a fuel-burning turbine to keep the juice flowing, much like the Chevrolet Volt—could work.

The company held “Uber Elevate” summit where it announced several promising partnerships to start implementing its plan. Uber will cooperate with real estate companies Hillwood Properties in Texas and Dubai Holding in the UAE to identify locations for “vertiports” and get them built. Chargepoint, the world’s largest network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the US, Europe, Australia, will be responsible for design, development, and maintenance of the infrastructure necessary to keep the aircraft going. In general, 1,000 aircraft and 83 vertiports with 12 charging spots apiece are needed to serve three or four cities.

Besides, Uber has signed deals with five companies that deal with the development of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The list includes Pentagon-backed Aurora Flight Sciences, electric plane maker Pipistrel, Bell Helicopter, Embraer, and small plane maker Mooney.

As for the cities, Dubai is interested. It’s no wonder as the city follows the motto “Looks shiny, we’re in!” But it will hardly have monopoly on the innovation as Texas wants in too.

“This program is revolutionary and future-oriented, which is why Fort Worth is a perfect partner to base the Elevate pilot,” Mayor Betsy Price stated. However, the city is not going to take too much responsibility. “The burden to overcoming the various hurdles (FAA, air traffic control …) will rest mostly on Uber in this exciting pilot.”

Exploring the sky could be a nice way for Uber to distract from accusations of Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer who left the company in December. Susan published a “strange, fascinating, and slightly horrifying” story about her experience revealing truth about sexism and power struggles at the workplace.

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