Uber Wants Flying Cars in the Air by 2020

And this author want to date Kate Upton. Guess which one's more likely. 

Uber

It's the oldest move in public relations: If everyone is talking about your problems, change the conversation. Uber may be suffering through a tempest of bad press these days, but you wouldn't know it based on the company's announcement on Tuesday that it's shooting to have flying cars in the air by the year 2020.

Which, in case you haven't looked at a calendar recently, is just three years from now. 

The announcement came at the company's Elevate Summit, a three-day gathering in Dallas, Texas designed to highlight Uber's flying car plans that kicked off today.

As part of its push to try and make flying cars a reality, Uber is teaming up with the cities of Dubai and Dallas–Fort Worth to explore the proposition and put demo vehicles in the skies by the start of the next decade. The company is also reportedly working with aviation companies such as Bell Helicopters, Embraer, and Aurora Flight Sciences to develop the aircraft, as well as with electric car charging company ChargePoint to develop power stations to recharge the flying machines.

Uber is one of a chorus of companies that have declared their intention to try and make the long-deferred dream of flying cars a reality. (Uber's vision of this future, dubbed Uber Elevate, involves a series of autonomous aerial cabs capable of vertical takeoffs and landings that can be booked with the tap of an app.) So far, however, the most notable result has been Larry Page's Kitty Hawk Flyer, which is less of a flying car and more of a giant drone wearing a saddle.   

But the natural skepticism towards flying cars brought about by decades of misleading Popular Mechanics covers doesn't seem to have permeated the ride-hailing company's upper ranks. 

"Urban aviation is a natural next step for Uber," Jeff Holden, chief technology officer, said in a statement, presumably while sniffing the same glue that put Lloyd Bridges on the ceiling in Airplane!  "That's why we're working to make 'Push a button, get a flight' a reality."

The Elevate Summit will resume live-streaming tomorrow; should you be interested in watching, we've embedded the YouTube stream below.