Uber Elevate aim launch aerial taxi service in India

Tinuku - Uber Elevate, the US ride-sharing major’s aerial taxi arm, is considering India as one of the five countries where it wants to launch the service. An Uber team conveyed this to Union minister of state for aviation Jayant Sinha during a meeting here on Tuesday.

“They are considering five countries for launch of air taxis. When I had met Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, I had stressed on him the need to do so, given our country’s consumer base. Now, Uber has informed me that India is one of the five countries they are evaluating for launching air taxis. They are very close to selecting India (for this),” Sinha said after meeting Uber’s CBO Madhu Kannan.

Tinuku Uber Elevate aim launch aerial taxi service in India

Passenger drones will essentially be small vertical take off and landing aircraft that can be used for urban mobility. Unlike helicopters, vertical takeoff and lending (VTOL) aircraft will make use of electric propulsion, which will be quiet, barely audible at flying altitude.

The concept is supposed to cruise between 150 and 200 miles per hour, up to 2,000 feet above the ground. A single charge will be good enough for 60 miles of range and Uber expects the thing to need just five minutes to top up the batteries between flights. While the drone policy announced on Monday does not allow delivery of packages and meals by e-commerce firms.

“That policy is for general users. If someone has a specialised application for drones and can ensure the required security and air navigation, such cutting edge uses may be allowed on a case-to-case basis,” said Sinha.

“Passenger drones can enable people to travel distances of 30 to 50 km at a much higher speed than by surface transport. Our security considerations will apply for passenger drones as they do for other drones,” Sinha said.

Uber Elevate says cities that would make for a good urban air mobility should have a greater metropolitan area, population in excess of 20 lakh and a density of over 2,000 people per square mile. This will be able to support pooled ride-sharing services, ideal cities and face significant traffic congestion.