Uber is researching flying short-haul urban transportation

Uber’s Jeff Holden said on stage that his company is seriously researching how it might use vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft to provide personal transportation service that can literally rise above traffic in cities. And while the idea sounds crazy, Uber’s not the only company enjoying this particular fit of madness: Airbus detailed its own plans to create self-flying taxis earlier this year, and Google’s Larry Page is pitting two startups against each other to create flying cars with VTOL tech via investments in each, to name just a couple of high-profile examples. Uber’s plan would likely start out with piloted vehicles , but most VTOL concepts foresee a time when they can be piloted autonomously like many of the rotored commercial drones we see in use today. VTOLs themselves are actually similar to commercial and consumer drones in a number of ways, including their multi-rotor design.