Uber Elevate held its first Asia Pacific Expo last week, in Tokyo, where government officials said they are on board with the vision of creating urban transport systems with autonomous eVTOLs. “We see much potential in flying cars,” said Daisaku Hiraki, a vice-minister with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. “I believe public and private sectors, including companies outside of Japan, should work collaboratively to develop this new technology.” Uber Elevate also named five finalists for the first international city to launch Uber Air services, and announced it will experiment with drone delivery.
Uber already has said it is working to test its aerial taxi service in Dallas and Los Angeles by 2020. The short list for the first international test site includes Japan, India, Australia, Brazil and France. Uber also is exploring the use of drones for its Uber Eats service, which provides quick home delivery of takeout meals. “Uber sees a compelling opportunity to bring the same benefits that urban aviation will bring its ride-sharing business to its food-delivery business,” according to the company’s news release. “By taking to the air, Eats will be able to offer faster, farther reaching, more affordable, and more reliable deliveries to more customers and restaurants across the world.”