Executive Expects VTOL Uber In 10 Years


Uber is taking a serious look at autonomous VTOL aircraft for urban transport, and could have a fleet flying within a decade, chief products officer Jeff Holden said at a Nantucket conference on Sunday. In an interview with Kara Swisher of Re/code, Holden said the technology “could change cities and how we work and live.” Holden said he has been researching the possibilities “so we can someday offer our customers as many options as possible to move around … doing it in a three-dimensional way is an obvious thing to look at.” Holden has been involved in helping Uber to roll out self-driving cars, now being tested on the streets of Pittsburgh.

Holden said the self-flying vehicles could land on the tops of buildings, reducing commuting time and congestion on city streets. The service also could be pooled for multiple users. Uber is not the only company looking into the possibilities of urban VTOL transport — Airbus also has a project in the works. NASA researcher Mark Moore also has been exploring ways to integrate small VTOL aircraft into urban transportation networks.