Apr 25, 2017

Uber unveils partnerships to build 'flying taxis' by 2020

Courtesy of Uber

In its quest to make "flying taxis" a reality, Uber has struck partnerships with a handful of companies and two cities to begin developing the various technologies and infrastructure needed. The company unveiled the deals at its three-day conference on aviation in Dallas.

The partners:

  • Aircraft tech companies: Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer, Mooney, Bell Helicopter
  • Vertiports (take off/landing pads): Hillwood Properties
  • Cities: Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and Dubai, UAE. The latter's Road and Transport Authority has agreed to fund studies on pricing and customer models, and Uber plans to have prototypes ready for the World Expo in 2020 hosted in Dubai.
  • Electric charging: ChargePoint

Pricing: Uber estimates that in the near-term, a ride in a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft will cost about $1.32 per passenger per mile, similar to its current UberX service. In the longer-term, it estimates that will dramatically decrease.

Go deeper

The aftermath of George Floyd's death: Everything you need to know

A mural outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, near where George Floyd was killed in an encouner with police. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in jail under $500,000 bail on charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter after a video of him kneeling on George Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes and Floyd's death catapulted the country's major cities into a state of protest.

The big picture: Floyd's fatal run-in with police is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Live updates: SpaceX attempts to launch NASA astronauts Saturday

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on the launch pad. Photo: NASA/Joel Kowsky

At 3:22 p.m. ET today, SpaceX is expected to launch NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station for the first time.

Why it matters: The liftoff — should it go off without a hitch — will be the first time a private company has launched people to orbit. It will also bring crewed launches back to the U.S. for the first time in nine years, since the end of the space shuttle program.

Follow along below for live updates throughout the day...

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 5,968,693— Total deaths: 365,796 — Total recoveries — 2,520,587Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,749,846 — Total deaths: 102,900 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Economy: The future of mobility in the post-pandemic worldGeorge Floyd's killing and economic calamity are both part of America's unfinished business.
  4. Supreme Court: Chief Justice Roberts sides with liberals in denying challenge to California's pandemic worship rules.
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March.
  6. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  7. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.