Early testing of Uber's self-driving car program has been a bit of a mess on the road. The company's answer: Maybe lose the "road" part?
Uber announced Tuesday that its previously teased plan to someday take flying ride-share cars the skies now has some launch details. UberAIR, as it's called, will begin testing in 2020 in the cities of Dallas and Dubai, with customers expected to be able to hail an airborne Uber by 2023.
Though there's no clear picture yet of what the UberAIR cars will look like, the company has said helicopters are the "closest equivalent" vehicle operation-wise today.
The white paper that Uber released late last year about its flying car project dictates that the UberAIR cars will have to be able to lift off vertically and operate quieter than today's flying vessels.
Uber and Dubai are shooting to have an UberAIR vehicle ready to showcase at the 2020 World Expo, Fast Company reported.
Uber said last year that the new Airbus flying car concept matches up with the kind of aircraft it will use for UberAIR, but the company is not on the recently released list of partnering vehicle manufacturers.
Since it would be a little too messy for Uber's flying cars to swoop down streetside to scoop up passengers, the ride-sharing company will use mini airports, called vertiports, for the vehicles to land and take off. These could be on tops of buildings or in spacious areas on the ground.
As for who will be driving -- no one, eventually. Since Uber is currently scratching and clawing to get its self-driving cars up and running, it understands that self-flying cars could take even longer. So pilots will be commissioned to fly the first UberAIR customers.
Here's what it will look like to hail an UberAIR.
This program, and really most all flying car programs today, is still in early planning stages, and so many details like cost, wait time, future rollout cities and which company is even going to build these things are still many months from being filled in.
In the meantime, keep your gaze out of the skies and back to street level, because the self-driving Uber cars that are out there now aren't so great at respecting stop signs and such.