Four new designs unveiled at the recent Uber Elevate conference in Los Angeles aim to provide the flying taxis of the future for urban centers around the world. This was the second annual conference for the project, which jump-started last year when Uber hired Mark Moore, a longtime NASA researcher, as director of engineering for its new initiative.
The company is serious about the effort, setting a target date of 2023 to start commercial service. That date might seem unrealistic given the unwieldy regulatory structures it will have to navigate, but the company said testing will begin in 2020, with launch sites already selected in Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles. Their goal is to eventually provide autonomous airborne taxi service at a rate comparable to an Uber ride on the ground.