Uber is in hot water over the tragic driverless car accident from a few weeks ago but hasn’t stop focusing on long-term plans. At the second Elevate conference in L.A., Uber showed off its latest flying car concept – the Common Reference Model. The name is a bit boring but the project is anything but.
The company hopes to launch an aerial taxi service by 2023 and wants to achieve this by using a hybrid between a plane and a helicopter.
The electric aircrafts that would form the fleet are set to rely on five rotors in order to achieve maximum security in case of one rotor failure. The four rotors along the spine will help them go airborne and will stow away at landing, while the fifth one, placed on the tail, will be responsible for forward propulsion.
“Initial experimentation of this concept has revealed the potential for significantly quieter performance than traditional paired rotors and improved overall performance,” said Uber.
The plan for these flying taxis is to shuttle passengers at an elevation of 1,000 to 2,000 feet, darting from rooftop skyports to key locations in the city. Each one will be able to carry up to four passengers and one pilot on a single charge of up to 60 miles of range.
Moreover, Uber wants to equip these electric flying taxis with batteries that can charge in just 5 minutes! That’s not as unbelievable as you might think, as this concept was designed by Mark Moore, a NASA veteran with 30 years of experience.