Drive Wire for October 31st, 2016: Uber Reveals More of Its Plans for Flying Cars

The “Uber Elevate” program could bring VTOL transportation to the masses.

Hey there. Will Sabel Courtney here for Drive Wire on October 31st, 2016.

Today on Drive Wire: Uber has revealed more details about its plans to launch a fleet of sharable flying vehicles.

The program, which is called “Uber Elevate,” envisions fleets of compact flying machines autonomously shuttling people around, reducing traffic congestion on increasingly-crowded roadways.

Uber’s vision involves electrically-powered flying machines capable of taking off and landing vertically, meaning they won’t be restricted to airports and conventional runways. The company says electric power means the vehicles will produce zero emissions while in flight and make them far quieter than existing helicopters and airplanes,

The company says its vertical takeoff-and-landing flying machines, or VTOLs, could travel from downtown San Francisco to San Jose in 15 minutes, compared with the 100 minutes it often currently takes to drive the same distance.

And Uber says these self-flying machines will not be limousines for the wealthy of tomorrow. The company believes advances in technology and ride-sharing will ultimately enable VTOL transport to be cheaper than owning a conventional car.

That’s it for Drive Wire on October 31st, 2016. I’m Will Sabel Courtney; thanks for watching, and please check out The Drive for more on the big stories from the transportation world.