Elevating the ridesharing experience
We believe that aerial ridesharing will enable rapid, reliable transportation through a network of small, vertical takeoff and landing, all-electric vehicles.
We believe that Uber’s platform will provide universal access to every type of transportation through improved mobility options, creating a future where the need for individual car ownership goes down over time. Elevate’s mission is weaving everyday flight into the Uber platform. By taking Uber’s tech into the skies we can expand affordable and seamless transportation in cities around the world.
Similar to the evolution of residential and commercial skyscrapers in dense urban cores, elevating local transportation to the sky will alleviate transport density on the ground and open up immense mobility bandwidth. Urban Air Mobility (UAM) presents an opportunity to decongest road traffic, improve mobility, give back time to those trapped in daily traffic, and unlock the potential of cities worldwide.
The diverse Uber Air ecosystem
Uber Air is enabled by a product suite of 4 foundational systems, strategic OEM partnerships, skyport infrastructure partnerships, airspace management system and multimodal journey, that the Uber Elevate team and its partners are synergistically developing and maturing.
Strategic OEM partnerships
Uber entered into partnerships with several aircraft manufacturers including Joby, Aurora Flight Sciences (now a subsidiary of Boeing), Bell, Embraer, Hyundai, Jaunt, Overair (formerly Karem Aircraft), and Pipistrel Aircraft.
Skyport infrastructure partnerships
Uber has entered into real estate partnerships with Macquarie, Oaktree’s Transportation Infrastructure Fund, Hillwood Properties, and Related Group to imagine a new type of infrastructure designed to handle scaled operations of eVTOLS.
Airspace management systems
Elevate’s automation platform is designed to provide seamless multimodal integration of ground and flight segments, support the aircraft operator in tracking and managing flights, and build the foundations of an airspace management system for scalable and sustainable aviation operations.
Uber Air will seamlessly string a ground transportation segment to a Skyport, with a pooled point-to-point flight, and finally a just-in-time ground transportation leg to a rider’s final destination.
Uber Air launch markets
Safety, environmental impact, and noise reduction are the core design principles we are building the future Uber Air service upon. We are excited to be working in our initial launch markets of Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne to bring this product to life as soon as 2023.
Market consideration for Uber Air
A typical Uber Air market will usually have the following characteristics.
Size (land area)
A large human settlement spread over a large area, e.g Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) Metroplex encompasses 4,848 square miles, and Los Angeles (LA) metro land area is spread over 8,928 square miles.
Population and population density
The population is greater than 1 million and the population density is greater than 1,000 people per square mile.
Existing transportation network
An expansive ground transportation network that includes public transportation systems. A strong existing transportation network is essential, as riders will be provided the option of an existing form of ground transportation to and from skyports as part of the Uber Air journey.
At least one large airport
Airports typically aggregate transportation demand. Airports that are separated from the city center by a trip of an hour or more due to distance, traffic, or other bottlenecks, provide a compelling use case for a foundational route.
Increasing traffic congestion that results in high travel times and congestion costs. For example, in 2019, each vehicle commuter, in DFW Metroplex, spent 45 hours in traffic at an annual congestion cost of $1,160. Similarly, annual congestion cost in LA area is $2,440. The ideal city is polycentric, with multiple dense nodes of development separated by frequent congestion.
Stable environmental conditions
Adverse weather conditions can influence many components of Uber Air, including operational reliability, service supply, and rider comfort.
System simulation and network design
For each of the markets that we consider for Uber Air, the Elevate team builds probabilistic models for urban mobility and develops integrated market simulations of nodal networks, skyports, and vehicle fleets to advance strategy and decision-making.
Multimodal trip data
We aim to save as much time for our riders as possible. To do this, we aggregate anonymized trip data across multiple transportation modes to understand cities and the people within them.
To ensure we design a service for as many riders as possible, we’ve launched thousands of surveys globally to capture Uber Air price time tradeoffs.
We analyze macro and micro weather phenomena to help ensure Uber Air is robust, safe, and operable throughout the year.
Uber Air eVTOLs will be quieter than today’s helicopters. We actively predict and quantify their noise, helping to reduce any community disturbance.
Skyport locations and scale
We are working to ensure that our skyport locations will be optimal at launch and beyond by performing network scaling studies.
Using our trip, demand, noise, and weather data, we can construct Uber Air network designs that place infrastructure in prime locations.
Operational analysis and economic modeling
With Uber Air networks designs, we can simulate days of operation to fine-tune the service before our first flights. This involves complex operational modeling and economic assessments of all stakeholders.