Uber plans to launch flying taxi service by 2020
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Beset by a series of problems on the ground Uber is looking to the skies with the ride-sharing company revealing an ambitious plan to debut a flying taxi service by 2020.

"It’s push a button and get a flight," Uber's Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said at the Uber Elevate Summit.

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The company has partnered with Dallas-Forth Worth and Dubai to be its launch partners.

Uber hopes to debut its vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft when Dubai hosts the World's Fair in 2020.

The company said flying taxis would be cheaper than other modes of transport because they don't require roads, bridges and tunnels and by avoiding set routes would make trips quicker.

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"Just as skyscrapers allowed cities to use limited land more efficiently, urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground," Uber wrote in its white paper on Uber Elevate.

But making the vision a reality will still require significant investment in infrastructure. Uber has suggested that parking lots and helipads could be repurposed to as "vertipods" and "vertistops.

Then there is also the crucial matter of creating a low-cost electric aircraft that can ferry people around populated areas in a safe manner without making excessive amounts of noise.

Uber is not building its own aircraft but has partnered with Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer, Mooney, and Bell Helicopter to create an aircraft that meets its needs.

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