Uber, the company that brought us ride sharing now has its sights set on air travel, and a couple of New Jersey firms are involved. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Uber is planning to introduce air transportation through a program called Uber Elevate that wants to beat automobile transportation through helicopter taxis.

One of the important companies helping plan this strategy is a Pennsauken based firm called Jaunt Air Mobility which describes its flying vehicles as a “metamorphosis of the best features available of helicopters and fixed wing airplanes.” Uber has targeted next year for demonstration flights with a roll out of commercial flights in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Melbourne, Australia in 2023.

Part of their ambitious plan for “aerial ride sharing” is the construction of Skyports that will allow for vertical take off and landing of the craft in the urban areas it is designed to serve with as many as 1,000 takeoffs and landings per hour. Uber added Jaunt as a partner last month, joining companies like Bell and Boeing for producing their urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles. There are a total of six manufacturers being asked to provide prototypes to Uber, from which three will be selected. The aircraft will typically handle four passengers traveling 25-60 miles. There are many regulatory hurdles yet to be cleared, including the noise impact, as well as environmental and safety considerations. Aviation Today says Uber Air is aiming at an hourly operating cost of $700, although consumer prices are a long way from being set.

The other New Jersey company involved with Uber Air is a Mount Laurel based firm, Price Systems, that provides cost estimations and process integration.

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