Melbourne leading the way with UberAir

Posted on 13 June 2019

Melbourne has scored pilot testing for the new Uber Air service alongside Dallas and Los Angeles, with trials set to start in 2020.

Uber will work alongside Telstra, Macquarie and the owner/operator of Westfield, along with Melbourne Airport, to help shape the infrastructure and communications network required for the airborne ride sharing service.

Once operational, air-travel promises to slash travel times dramatically across the city. The 19km journey from Melbourne Airport to the city, which currently takes between 25-55 minutes to travel by car, could be cut to as little as five minutes. Additionally, a 75km trip from Melbourne to Geelong could be reduced from an hour and a half down to 18 minutes in the air.

Delivery services will also take advantage of the new technology, but trips by drone will be not be door-to-door. The drones will land goods at “designated safe landing zones” where couriers working for Uber will unload a package and deliver it to the customer. Drones might also land on the roof of a parked Uber car outfitted with a QR code, which will transport the food to the last leg to its destination.

“Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology,” Susan Anderson, regional general manager for Uber in Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, said in a statement. “This, coupled with Melbourne’s unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the perfect third launch city for Uber Air. We will see other Australian cities following soon after.”

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