Uber’s chief product officer, Jeff Holden, has announced that the ride-sharing company will make flying taxis available in Los Angeles by 2020.
While making the announcement at Web Summit, Holden compared Uber’s ‘flying car’ project – dubbed UberAir – to the method of travel popularised in the original Blade Runner movie, which showed flying cars in a fictional version of 2019 Los Angeles.
“UberAir is coming to Los Angeles, and we’re doing so in 2020,” says Holden. “Blade Runner was only off by one year, which is pretty impressive for a 1982 production.”
In addition to announcing UberAir’s imminent arrival in LA, Holden also announced a number of strategic partnerships that Uber has entered into to make its vision a reality.
The first partnership Holden announced is with Sandstone Properties, who will provide Uber with access to 20 strategically located sky ports.
Uber has also entered into a partnership with NASA, where the signing of a space act will allow the two to work together on aerospace management.
“NASA has been home to some of the most technical innovations in the world,” says Holden. “These are exactly the kinds of partners we need in order to make UberAir a reality.”
Holden pointed out that the size of and congestion within LA make it an attractive place for UberAir to operate.
The company believes it will be in a position to hold flight demonstrations in the city in just over two years.
“Launching in LA is a really big deal,” says Holden.
“LA is the second largest metro area in the US and the 14th largest in the world. Earlier this year the LA Times reported… that it’s also the most congested city on Earth.”