Uber will start using air taxi in 2020
Uber has been working on a flying taxi project for several years with partners. Hardware development is engaged partner Uber, the company Bell Helicopter. The vehicle itself is called Bell Nexus. This is a hybrid device that uses both electricity and fuel for operation.
The system is driven by six propellers, and the Bell Nexus can take off and land vertically. Aerotaxi designed to work within the city and suburbs. It is worth noting that the developer of the vehicle is not at all new, this company has been producing vertical take-off and landing vehicles for decades, both for commercial organizations and for the military.
In particular, it was she who developed systems such as the V-22 Osprey and V-280 Valor. Now this company has conducted a rebranding and decided to take up small aircraft systems. The main project is Bell Nexus.
Bell joined forces with Uber in 2017, when it became clear that aerotaxi and everything connected with them could become the trend of the future. Concepts of this type of aircraft appeared and disappeared, but these were more engineering fantasies about flights within the city. Now everything has become much more serious - the companies set about developing real aero taxi.
“It's not a toy,” saysNexus representative. "We are making a real vehicle designed for five people." He also mentioned that the propellers were made as safe for passengers as possible so that there is no risk of injury if a person gets his hand into the propeller.
A year earlier, Bell showed off its aerotaxis. This year, a full-scale prototype was demonstrated, so it became clear that the project was presented not only by renderers and photographs of the salon.
The total carrying capacity of the vehicle - 272 kilograms. The company expects that this will be enough to transport five people (as calculations were made, it is not entirely clear, apparently, there are places for children and adults). A hybrid, rather than purely electric motion system was chosen in order to increase the load capacity of the air taxi and power reserve. As far as one can understand, the flying vehicle will be automatic.
Bell Nexus also plan to use as a logistics tool, a vehicle for military and other purposes. Perhaps in the future, the range of capabilities of the aircraft will be expanded.
Bell is independent of Uber; it is part of the Textron aerospace conglomerate, which also includes organizations such as Cessna Aircraft, Beechcraft and some others.
The company Uber announced the imminent launch of aerotaxi service as early as 2016, but, unfortunately, it is still there almost now. The fact is that on the way to the goal in the implementation of this project there are too many obstacles, both purely technical and legislative. After all, in order to allow the company to move vehicles over the heads and buildings of any company, officials must make sure that these vehicles are completely safe.
Well, Uber (Bell) cannot yet boast of such, since the tests were practically not carried out. Yes, there are almost working concepts, but this is all not that, since no tests were carried out in the field.
Another problem is competition. Several years ago, several companies immediately took up the air transport. Now own projects are implemented by at least 19 companies, including such giants as Boeing and Airbus. Of course, they have more resources than miniature startups. Uber is trying not to compete, but to cooperate, for this the company enters into contracts with various companies that can help to implement the project aerotaxi. So, in May last year it became knownthat Uber Technologies Inc. has already entered into a second partnership agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (the first concerned unmanned aircraft, also air).
All this makes it possible to think that in a few years aerotaxi will still become a reality, leaving the stage of the “eternal concept”, beautiful pictures for technology lovers.