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Aerial ridesharing at scale

Pivotal vehicle technology behind Uber Air

Distributed electric propulsion (DEP) is key to unlocking all-electric urban air mobility. DEP enables aircraft to have fault-tolerance in the vertical lift system, thereby increasing safety, reducing maintenance costs, and allowing operations that are up to one hundred times quieter than conventional helicopters. DEP together with current level of battery performance, lightweight composite materials and powerful automation, enables electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft which can efficiently operate in and around dense, urban cores.


VTOL aircraft

We believe that aerial ridesharing will enable rapid, reliable transportation through a network of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. Unlike helicopters, eVTOLs are all-electric. We’re developing vehicles with a focus on safety, minimizing noise, and energy efficiency.

Distributed electric propulsion

Since 2010, NASA and companies like Joby Aviation, Bell, and over 100 others have been working on a technological breakthrough in the aviation space. Distributed electric propulsion, DEP for short, is the first key to unlocking all-electric urban air mobility. DEP enables aircraft to be significantly safer through redundancy with multiple electric rotors.

Hub-to-hub mobility

eVTOLs don’t need to follow one-dimensional routes. Trains, buses, and cars move people from point A to point B along a limited number of ground-based routes, where a single interruption such as an accident or roadwork can cause a delay. eVTOLs, by contrast, can travel toward their destination independent of any specific path, complementing existing ground networks in cities.

Skyport infrastructure

Uber Elevate believes that developing a network of skyports to support an urban eVTOL network would be more cost- and space-efficient than infrastructure-heavy and capital-intensive approaches such as roads, rails, bridges, and tunnels. Our designs make use of repurposed decks of parking garages and existing helipads that will create the basis of an extensive, distributed network of skyports in the future.

Data-powered networks

Uber's database provides dynamic insights about traffic and mobility patterns in cities where we operate. By using this data, we can carefully model demand and work with cities, existing mobility and transit operators, and real estate developers to make informed decisions about where skyports should be placed in cities. The data will also help us better understand the demand for this new type of transportation.

eVTOL common reference models

Led by Mark Moore, the NASA engineer who pioneered distributed electric propulsion (DEP), Uber’s Vehicle Engineering team has developed eVTOL common reference models (eCRMs) based on Elevate vehicle requirements. The eCRMs facilitate collaboration with our design and manufacturing partners and have been designed with a focus on technological capabilities and city and safety regulations. Requirements include 150 mph cruise speed, 60-mile sizing range, a 3-hour sprint of 25-mile trips, and capacity for one pilot and 4 riders.




User-focused design

In a strong commitment to the future, Safran Cabin's design and innovation studio has collaborated with Uber to develop a purpose-built cabin for aerial ridesharing.