Uber looks to the skies for future transportation

Online transportation service provider Uber said it believes the future of transportation will be in the skies. The service says it has plans for commuters to hop onto a small aircraft, take off vertically and within minutes arrive at their destination. It intends to roll out its first prototype aircraft in 2026. Uber sees its flying model as feasible and would eventually include unmanned aircraft. Uber already offers helicopter rides to commuters in Brazil. The company plans to convene a global summit early next year to explore on-demand aviation, in which a small electric aircraft would take off and land vertically to reduce congestion and save time for long-distance commuters, and eventually city dwellers. Vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTOL) have been studied and developed for decades, including by aircraft makers, the US military, NASA and the US Federal Aviation Administration.

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