Uber has partnered with UK automaker, Vertical Aerospace, to launch a fleet of electric flying taxis in the United Kingdom. The announcement came as the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft company revealed its plan to go public through a merger with Broadstone Acquisition Corp.
The partnership will see Uber become one of the first ride-hailing companies to offer an urban air mobility service. Vertical Aerospace aims to launch commercial eVTOL operations in 2024, with test flights scheduled to take place later this year.
According to a statement by Uber, the partnership will help the company achieve its goal of becoming a zero-emissions platform by 2040. The company plans to offer customers the option to book air taxis through its app, in addition to traditional ride-hailing services.
Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, said in a statement, “Our focus has always been on providing a safe, reliable, and affordable transportation platform for riders and drivers, but we also recognize the pressing need to reduce emissions and enable a rapid transition to electric mobility. Urban air mobility could play a vital role in this transition, and we are excited to partner with Vertical Aerospace to bring eVTOL to market in the UK.”
Vertical Aerospace has developed the VA-X4, an aircraft capable of carrying four passengers and a pilot up to 100 miles at speeds of up to 200mph. The company plans to operate the aircraft on short-haul routes, connecting city centers to airports and other transport hubs.
Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Uber in this transformative industry, and we appreciate their commitment to clean, quiet, and safe urban air mobility. This partnership is a validation of our eVTOL aircraft and our business plan for commercializing urban air mobility.”
The announcement comes as the race to develop electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft heats up, with several companies, including Joby Aviation and Archer Aviation, vying for a share of the market. The global market for eVTOL aircraft is expected to be worth $86 billion by 2040, according to a report by Morgan Stanley.
In conclusion, Uber’s partnership with Vertical Aerospace marks a significant step forward for the development of urban air mobility services in the UK. The move towards electric flying taxis is a key part of Uber’s strategy to become a zero-emissions platform, and the company hopes to offer customers the option to book air taxis through its app in the near future.