Last year, Uber revealed its plans to expand its ride-hailing business to the skies. While the idea may still take some more time to take off, a Texas-based company Bell has revealed a full-scale model of Uber’s upcoming air taxi. The hybrid-electric air taxi vehicle can take off and even land vertically. The company had revealed the interiors of the vehicle during last year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Bell already makes aircraft for military and commercial usage.
The Bell Nexus hybrid-electric air taxi vehicle consists of six fans and a hybrid propulsion system to cover a large area. The vehicle can be seen as a larger, much more advanced version of regular consumer drones. It’s worth mentioning here that the design revealed by Bell at CES 2019 isn’t a working model.
Uber intends to launch its Uber Air service in another four years. The service will also expand to international markets, but there’s no clear timeline on when that will happen. Uber is working with a bunch of companies to build its futuristic air taxi service.
This is not the first time we’ve seen prototypes of Uber’s air taxi vehicles. In May last year, Uber had revealed one of its air taxi prototypes while claiming to begin commercial operations in 2023.
In an official statement, the president and CEO of Bell, Mitch Snyder said, “As space at the ground level becomes limited, we must solve transportation challenges in the vertical dimension – and that’s where Bell’s on-demand mobility vision takes hold.”
In August last year, Uber had revealed that India is one of the five shortlisted countries for its flying taxi business. Out of these five countries, one will host the first Uber Air City outside the US. Uber also claimed it can help cut travel time in Mumbai by around 90 percent with its flying taxi.