Uber Elevate to begin testing at Expo 2020…

Remember when we told you about those passenger drones you might be zipping around the city in come July?

Well, it looks like they might actually be happening, just a little differently (and later) than planned.

Dubai – alongside Dallas Fort-Worth, Texas – has been singled out as one of two cities that will see ridesharing giant Uber launch a system of flying vehicles designed to transport people around urban areas.

Announced at the company’s Elevate Summit in Dallas on Tuesday, the ‘Uber Elevate’ initiative will see the development of vertical take-off and landing vehicles (VTOLs) that will enable customers to summon on-demand, high-speed flights at the push of a button.

“What started as a simple question – ‘why can’t I push a button and get a ride? – has turned, for Uber, into a passionate pursuit of the pinnacle of urban mobility.” sad Jeff Holden, chief product officer, Uber. He added that benefits of this new system could include, “the reduction of congestion and pollution from transportation, giving people their time back, freeing up real estate dedicated to parking and providing access to mobility services in all corners of a city.”

The VTOLs will be small, electric aircraft that Uber has said will be quiet enough to operate in metropolitan areas and have zero emissions.

While there is no hard date on when the service will be available to everyday commuters, Uber is working in conjunction with the Dubai Government to have demonstrations in place for the Dubai Expo 2020.

So how exactly will these VTOLs work?

Currently specifics on how these flying cars will look and work are scant, however it was revealed that there are plans to develop partnerships with local companies to build a network of ‘vertiports’ for the vehicles to take off and land on.

These will include charging stations and potentially be located on the tops of parking garages, existing helipads and unused land.

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Photos: Supplied