There’s been a lot of buzz about Uber working on a flying car proposal lately, but a new announcement from the company’s head of product deflated this hype faster than rigid airship interest post Hindenburg. It turns out Uber wants to take us out of our cars and cram us into shitty little planes.
At Uber’s first Elevate Summit, Uber’s Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden announced that the imaginatively-named operation within Uber called UberAir will be partnering with five major aerospace companies: Bell Helicopters, Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer and Mooney. The plan for these partnerships is to replace short commutes on land with short commutes in the air, as Inverse reports:
That system, according to Holden, doesn’t exactly look like a “flying car.” Holden said that he hates the term, and would prefer to contextualize it with the phrase “urban aviation.” What this looks like, namely, is using airspace to reinvent medium-length commutes in metropolitan areas through a variety of means, one of which is short-hop air travel. Holden pointed to the San Francisco bay area as an example — the commute from San Jose, at the south tip of the bay, to San Francisco, on the eastern isthmus, can take up to two hours in traffic. You can do the same distance, cutting across the water, in 15 minutes by air.
This is basically just short hop puddle jumper flights as a solution to traffic. Great. Let’s just dump everybody into the bumpiest, shittiest, most cramped and inconvenient way to travel. (Let’s fly from the edge of one town to the edge of another one through as much turbulence as possible!)
At least Uber will definitely be able to pull this off, in addition to seizing India, retaking China and engineering self-driving cars. Shouldn’t be a problem.