Have you ever been stuck in a traffic jam and wished to be airlifted to your destination? Well, that day isn’t far off. Uber Air declared on Thursday that India will be among five countries where it will launch in the next five years – 2023.
At the Uber Elevate Asia-Pacific summit in Tokyo, the ride-sharing company asserted that it was looking beyond cars to alleviate the problem of congested roads. “In pursuit of our first international launch market, where you will be able to push a button and get a flight, we are announcing a shortlist of five countries where Uber Air can immediately transform transportation and take our technology to new heights,” said Eric Allison, head of Aviation Programmes at Uber to The Indian Express.
Uber Elevate has also released examples of routes for Uber Air flights in cities like Delhi-NCR, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul, Sydney, and Taipei. The company claims that Uber Air will be able to save about two hours every day for commuters.
Dallas and Los Angeles were earlier announced as the first two US launch cities. At another event, the company announced that another international city was being considered as a third partner. India could potentially be that partner.
The Indian Express report quoted Allison as saying that as Uber experimented with helicopters, they wanted a solution that would be ‘quieter, cheaper and safer’ in order to be successful.
“Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore are some of the most congested cities in the world, where traveling even a few kilometers can take over an hour. Uber Air offers tremendous potential to help create a transportation option that goes over congestion, instead of adding to it,” Uber said in a statement, according to an India Today report.
Uber introduced the world to its Elevate programme in 2016. Only last year did they tell the public that they wanted to launch flight demonstrations by 2020 and commercial trips by 2023. Tokyo is apparently considering air mobility as a solution before the Olympics in 2020.
The ride-hailing company has assembled a network of partners, including vehicle manufacturers, real estate developers, and technology developers, among others to make sure Uber Air becomes a success.