Melbourne will join Dallas and Los Angeles as one of the launch cities for the aerial ridesharing service Uber Air, the first city chosen outside the United States to trial the service.
Uber Elevate, the division of Uber developing the ambitious ridesharing mode, plans to begin demonstrator flights in late 2020 and ahead of launching commercial flights in 2023.
Melbourne is one of only three cities in the world selected to be part of the trial and launch of Uber Air, ahead of cities in Brazil, France, India and Japan.
The Andrews Labor Government, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and other key bodies will be working with partnership with Uber Elevate in the lead up to the demonstrator flights.
Passengers will travel in electric vertical take-off and landing aircrafts known as eVTOLs.
Uber Air will operate using the Uber app, allowing passengers to travel across a network of landing pads called “Skyports”.
Aerial ridesharing has the potential to offer direct rides between Victorian attractions and major events, benefitting Victoria’s tourism and events industry.
Melbourne was selected following an 18-month process and was chosen for its status as being Australia’s leading tech city, its diverse and talented labour pool and ranking as one of the world’s most liveable cities.
Quotes attributable to Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas
“We’re thrilled that Melbourne has been chosen to partner with Uber Elevate to help start, nurture and grow what could become a new industry, revolutionising travel across the world.”
“The future of transport is coming to Melbourne, giving us a flying start to capitalise on new opportunities that emerge as this industry takes off.”