business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

TechCrunch reports that “Uber has unveiled a number of partners and design concepts for uberAIR, the company’s planned aerial ride-hailing network. Its goal is to start testing these flights in 2020 in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Frisco, Texas, areas as well as Los Angeles. Uber is aiming for a 2023 commercial deployment.”

But for the whole thing to work, the story says that the company is “going to need what Uber is calling ‘Skyports’ — areas for these electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles to board and unload passengers.” A number of designs for skyports of various sizes were on display at the recent Uber Elevate summit in Los Angeles.

The broader goal, according to the story, is to continue Uber’s plan of creating an ecosystem in which personal ownership of cars is less important - though for uberAIR to be part if it, they’ll need to get the estimated cost-per-passenger down. (Uber says that “it will get the cost down to $1.86 per passenger mile before ideally getting to $0.44 per passenger mile.)

I have no idea if this Jetsons-like view of the world can work or will work .. especially by 2023.

But it is an Eye-Opener. And if I were a retailer looking to be relevant, I might be asking questions about how I can get one of those skyports installed in parking lot.

You know. Just in case.
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