When it comes to cars, and specially how they will be transporting us in the next few decades — well, you really should take a look at what Uber is doing. Whether it is self-driving cars or self-driving flying cars or even those with VTOL technology, Uber is the company you should keep an eye on. Which is why car enthusiasts would be well advised to watch the cab aggregator’s first ever Elevate VTOL Summit, which is happening between April 25-27.
VTOL features high on Uber’s agenda of “Things it wants to do”. I mean sure, teh company may be laying more stress upon self-driving cars but that does not mean that it is ignoring VTOL. Just FYI, VTOL refers to a technology that allows a car/jet to take off from the ground without a runway. So basically, Vertical Take Off and Landing technology can enable vehicles to fly straight up into the air from a standing position. The technology is vital if we are to have a future with flying cars. We can’t really be creating huge runways for our cars, can we?
Which brings us to Uber. As the premium cab aggregator in the world, a future that has flying cars will invariably have some of them serving as taxis. And Uber is actually taking a lot of interest in the technology. A lot of interest. Indeed, you would think it was out to manufacture and sell them. Last year, the company released a white paper on the topic and also said that it will start a bunch of holding Elevate summits with the express aim of pushing development of VTOL vehicles.
Uber describes its first summit as:
The Summit will offer an information-packed three days during which we hope to build awareness about the Elevate mission, detail Uber’s role in the ecosystem, identify and accelerate opportunities to collaborate within the community, and define a path towards initial urban eVTOL operations.
The first Elevate Summit is taking place in Dallas, Texas April 25 through the 27. The event is slated to host the who’s and who of the VTOL industry including Uber CPO Jeff Holden, Embraer CEO Paulo de Cesar de Souza e Silva, Lilium co-founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand, Airbus A3’s head of autonomous systems Arne Soschek and so on.
There is a lineup that has not been unveiled yet so expect further excitement. You would be smart to expect investors, folks from aviation regulatory bodies and of course, car manufacturers. Considering that all the people who would have an idea of VTOL and its implications, and could actually push manufacture would be sitting at the same table. We could well get a very reliastic estimate of when VTOL cars could become a common sight.
So if you can attend the summit in person, well, it is likely to be pretty interesting. I mean flying frigging car people! Is there anything you could ask of life after that? In case you can’t though, you can still watch the summit live through a live stream that Uber is putting out for this very purpose. Simply keep an eye here or even better, check back at the TechPortal come April 24th.