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News   A Hungarian aviation website, Repülni Jó, published an article about Pipistrel's upcoming project
2017. május 08., hétfő 14:42

Original article (Hungarian): http://www.repulnijo.hu/uber-elevate-varosi-legi-taxi/


Uber Elevate, autonomous air taxi service starting in 2020?

A new player has recently entered the flying taxi scene - Uber Elevate, a project for an environmentally friendly uplifting of urban traffic, with no need for taxi drivers.

Uber started out as a city taxi traffic management application, but now the sky is literally the limit. The Uber Elevate program is a plan to expand the service with electric-hybrid vertical take-off and landing vehicles. Pilot has already been phased out. A traffic management AI called UberAir takes over piloting duties.

In 2020, Dubai is holding a world fair, where Uber Elevate will be introduced. The other participating metropolis is Dallas. We heard about a couple of aircraft designs for the systems, seen in the attached pictures, but it seems they need the contribution of the Slovenian aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel.

Last week, the attention of the world turned to Dallas. Uber held a large press conference on the topic, urging for the cooperation of leading vehicle manufacturers, regulatory bodies, venture capital, air control and large cities. Big name participants included, but were not limited to: first and foremost, Ivo Boscarol, the founder and boss of the Slovenian aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel. Ross Perrot, former presidential candidate and billionaire American investor, Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, director of the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer EMBRAER, Steven F. Udvarhazy aircraft leasing-caesar and museum founder, and many others.

Ivo Boscarol is a special pioneer of green flight. He won the Green Flight Challenge competition of 2011 with a 4-seat airplane, while his competitors only entered 2-seaters. Where others - and even then, a few - are only just developing electrically propelled aircrafts, he already has one available on the market, the Pipistrel Alpha Electro 2-seat electrical airplane.

But Ivo Boscarol truly amazed the world last year, when he announced creation of his green airplane. Quote: a new, very innovative zero emission 19-seat aircraft, powered by hybrid electric technology and hydrogen low temperature PEM fuel cells, planned for public transport between cities. To emphasize this and ensure the availability of resources, at the same time he made Pipistrel's largest deal of the past 27 years with the Chinese

In Dallas, Pipistrel entered a cooperation agreement and joined the Uber Elevate project, where the focus is vertical take-off and landing, so we can assume that the air-bus described above will have a vertical take-off and landing version as well.

Uber Elevate is a three player story. The air taxis will be manufactured by a variety of start-up and giant corporation - some of them you can see here, on this musical pictorial.

The second participants are the air taxi station builders supported by the city, working on the top or sides of high buildings. In Dubai this type of solution is practically customary. For example, when I was there, I saw an open pool on the fifth floor of a twenty story hotel. Since we are talking about a taxi, traffic obviously won't be restricted to lines between stations, but, when conditions permit, autonomous air taxis will fly to the customers' homes.

The third actor is UberAir, which manages the entirety of the traffic. Here air traffic control by the artificial intelligence might be more important than the customer management app introduced for ground-taxis. Dubai seems like a lucky choice of location in this regard, everything is ready there, Uber does not need to fight with a aviation authorities to introduce the basic elements of the system at the 2020 world fair.

 
 
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