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Old 05-08-2018, 09:50 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Uber releases autonomous air-taxi plans

Today, Uber gave CBS News a first look at design models for its new air taxi, which it hopes to fly by 2020.

https://www.engadget.com/2018/05/08/...otype-elevate/
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:02 AM   #2
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Yawn. Do you really think this is viable given todayís ATC constraints, ubers track record with autonomous ground vehicles, the track record with autonomous planes and loss of datalink or other mechanical issues in general, a lack of pilots until they get their autonomous stuff figured out in a decade or two (at least), and many other barriers to entry.

If you want to read how truly off the rocker and far from reality they are, read the white paper here https://www.uber.com/elevate.pdf. After perusing that yesterday on an overnight, I felt confident that they wonít be taking my job anytime soon, or disrupting the intra-city commuting market. Their assumptions are largely off base. I think this is my favorite: ďWe can expect that the price for a 45-mile pool VTOL, which would replace a 60-mile automobile trip, could approach as low as $21 for the 15 minute journey.Ē

If it took an aerospace company and the government decades to design/build/fly V22s, which is operated by 2 professionally trained pilots and has the backing of the DoD for mx/ops/support, and sustained some crashes in development and operations, how the he77 is a tech company going to build a VTOL, with new (currently nonexistent) technology, flown by a single $50k/year pilot until they can get a computer to replace the pilot, and not have disastrous results? One autonomous car, with a driver, kills someone in Phoenix, and makes massively bad press for them. Can you imagine a VTOL with 4 riders and a driver crashes into a street/parking lot/house and kills 5-10.

And they canít keep burning $2-4.5 billion a year forever. At some point they will have to start making money and stop hemorrhaging it. At least they got kalanick out. And maybe they will get an IPO done next year. But I donít think youíll hail an Uber air taxi anytime soon.

They want to achieve $21 for a 15 minute VTOL ride that covers a 60 mile car trip distance. Thatís like manhattan to white plains or SWF. A helicopter does a 15 minute trip for roughly $200 a seat for less distance than that. They are really going to replace current technology for VTOL (helicopters) with new tech and with economies of scale and reduce that price 10x? Good luck with that. Taking Uber 3D is a much more expensive and difficult proposition than they can handle.
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Old 05-09-2018, 07:44 AM   #3
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I agree this is more a marketing/PR gimmick than anything. Just like Amazon's drone delivery service.
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:18 AM   #4
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No mention of FAA approval.
Certainly don't see that being quick.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:21 AM   #5
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I can picture it now, a uber drone blocking an arrival with it's hazard lights on because the idiot driver tried going the wrong way down a one way street.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:03 AM   #6
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This business model, once the technicalities and legalities are resolved, will be severely limited by people who don't want flying cars buzzing their neighborhoods all day and half the night. Going to be limited to points A and B which are not in, or too near, residential areas.
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:26 AM   #7
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Not to mention this in the middle of possibly the biggest pilot shortage of all time. We donít make $9/hr and fly our own planes. It isnít a valid consideration economically.

Making $200 round trip gross on a two hour turn pays the pilot nothing. Good luck with that in 2020.
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:27 AM   #8
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This will work out great!

Right up until the first Uber air car craps itself and flies into a stadium at halftime....

And that will be the end of that.
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcountry View Post
This will work out great!

Right up until the first Uber air car craps itself and flies into a stadium at halftime....

And that will be the end of that.
Or flight into icing.
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Old 05-09-2018, 12:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBreezy View Post
Or flight into icing.
Haha!

True!
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