Get ready to land on your office rooftops on Uber flying cabs. Now just pray the buildings don't collapse
Uber has selected India as one of the five shortlisted countries that could be home to the first international Uber Air City in the next five years.
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On August 30, Uber reportedly selected India as one of the five shortlisted countries that could be home to the first international 'Uber Air City' in the next five years.
Uber Elevate, the company's aerial taxi arm, announced India, Japan, Australia, Brazil and France as the five countries selected at the first "Uber Elevate Asia Pacific Expo" in Tokyo.
Uber will choose one of the cities from these five countries as its third launch city for flying taxis, after Dallas and Los Angeles in the US.
In a statement, the company said, "Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru are some of the most congested cities in the world, where travelling even a few kilometres can take over an hour. Uber Air has tremendous potential to help create a transportation option that goes over congestion, instead of adding to it."
High-flying dreams: The future is here. (Credit: Twitter/Uber)
"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 increased mobility between city centres and remote islands and mountainous areas, promote tourism in Japan as well as enhance disaster relief operations," said Daisaku Hiraki, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan.
"The Uber Elevate team is now inviting conversations with stakeholders across major cities in these countries, and will announce the chosen Uber Air international city within the next six months," said the company.
According to Uber Elevate website, a ride between Marina in San Francisco to downtown San Jose is expected to take 15 minutes (43.3 miles) in a VTOL, compared to 1 hour 40 mins in an Uber cab (56.9 miles) and 2 hours 12 minutes in Caltrain (55.4 miles).
This aerial ride is expected to cost about $129 (Rs 9,000) initially, which could be brought down to $43 (Rs 3,000) in the near term and $20 (Rs 1,400) in the long term. Comparatively, users in the US today pay about $111 (Rs 7,800) in an UberX (cab ride) and $83 (Rs 5,800) in UberPOOL (shared ride) for the same ride.
While everybody seems to be excited with the thought of hailing a flying cab in India, the video below will give you some idea of the high-flying surprise you are in for.
We surely can't deny we aren't thrilled, but sitting in a potholed, traffic-jammed and over-populated country, dreaming of landing on a rooftop — which anyway might cave in any time, going by some of our recent big-city real estate experiences — looks more than just distant.
Also, even if you manage to land safely, how long are you ready to wait for public transport, or to walk to the next Metro station in the heat and dust of the great Indian summer (or winter)?
Well, sorry to burst your bubble. But, in addition to the logistical problems, we in India also need to see a lot more men making dinner for the kids while the lady of the house flies back in an Uber aerial cab.