MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Australia’s southeast city of Melbourne will be the first city outside of the United States to host trials of Uber Air, a service US Uber carsharing giant will offer to shuttle people via air, local media reported.
According to ABC news outlet, the first Uber Air pilots will launch in the US cities of Dallas and Los Angeles and aim to connect transport hubs like airports to central city sites. The first test flights are due to launch in 2020 and commercial operations are due to start from 2023.
“Melbourne’s unique demographic and geospatial factors and culture of innovation and technology makes Melbourne the perfect third launch city for Uber Air,” Susan Anderson, the regional general manager for Uber in Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, said.
Anderson said other Australian cities will soon follow suit.
Uber, along with several other companies, such as Dutch Airbus and German Volovopter, are exploring VTOL, vertical take-off and landing aircraft, as alternatives to helicopters, which are noisy and expensive for mass-scale use, for air transport. VTOLs would make use of “autonomy technology” to reduce the risk of operator error.