Uber has announced plans to offer helicopter services in New York City.
The Uber Elevate team is currently developing shared air transportation between suburbs and cities, and ultimately within cities.
Uber said it is working with its Elevate Network partners to launch fleets of small, electric VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne.
The goal is to begin demonstrator flights next year, with commercial operations commencing in 2023.
However, according to CNN, the air service has already been launched between John F Kennedy Airport and Midtown, with the price of the eight-minute helicopter ride setting passengers back approximately $200 per single trip.
It is also reported that the service, beginning July 9, will only be available to customers who have achieved platinum and diamond status within Uber’s rewards program.
A 2016 Uber Elevate report showed that in 2015, the average San Francisco resident spent 230 hours commuting between their work and home, with residents in Sydney and Los Angeles spending seven working weeks each year commuting.
In a video for ‘UBERAIR’, a woman is shown walking to the top of a building and scanning a boarding-like pass before passing through automatic doors to a ‘Skyport’. She and other passengers are then chaperoned to a helicopter on the Skyport by an Uber staff member, before departing over the city.
A network of distributed Skyports is being planned to enable Uber Air operations, with architects, designers and engineers devising solutions which will enable Skyports to handle up to 1,000 landings per hour.