- Uber is unveiling its first visions for passenger aircraft.
- The company hopes to offer air services beyond helicopters as early as 2023.
- We spoke to executives about the first aircraft, a helicopter-airplane hybrid at the company’s Elevate conference this week.
WASHINGTON, DC — Uber has looked beyond car rides for years, through bikes, scooters, public transit, and more.
Now, it’s looking to the sky.
In July, the company is launching helicopter rides from within its app between New York City and John F. Kennedy International Airport. After that, it hopes to launch shared electric flights on hybrid airplane-helicopter aircraft in cities around the world and at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour, all with no emissions.
The company showed off a full-size model of its first aircraft interior at its third Uber Elevate conference in Washington, DC, on Tuesday. Here’s what the first mock interior looks like:
Uber Air has collaborated with Bipolar Studio to make a full scale mock-up of the first interiors.
The company is calling this a “North Star” model that will guide future designs that actually fly.
Eventually, the service could cost about as much as an Uber Black ride, executives said — and be just as posh.
The aircraft can hold up to four passengers, not including the pilots.
Here’s a view from the front, without rotors or any propulsion force yet.
“I think we’re at a transitional time for designs like this to serve as the influential typology in aerial ride-sharing standards for generations of aircraft to come,” John Battlement, Uber Air’s head of design, said in a press release.
The seats look more at home in a luxury SUV than a traditional helicopter.
The interior is completely customizable for any operator, depending on how they want to best serve customers.
“While the cabin may be minimal in some ways, it’s absolutely purpose built to the mission,” the team behind the design said, adding that safety was paramount for every feature.
There’s space for luggage in addition to passengers.
The butterfly doors scream James Bond movie.
Here’s a view of the cabin all loaded up with passengers.
The theoretical cockpit is just as futuristic
Here’s a closer look at the control systems.