The Australian city of Melbourne, alongside Dallas and Los Angeles, is set to be an official pilot city for Uber’s flying taxis.
Test flights are set to start from 2020, with the aim of launching commercial affordable shared flights by 2023.
In doing so, the US ride-hailing firm aims to promote urban air mobility and alleviate transport congestion.
Congestion is a mounting concern for Australia, costing the country around $16.5bn annually, according to Uber.
“Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ridesharing and future transport technology,” said Susan Anderson, Regional General Manager for Uber in Australia, New Zealand and North Asia.
“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.”
Eric Allison, the global head of Uber Elevate, added: “As major cities grow, the heavy reliance on private car ownership will not be sustainable. Uber Air holds enormous potential to help reduce road congestion. For example, the 19 kilometre journey from the CBD to Melbourne airport can take anywhere from 25 minutes to around an hour by car in peak hour but with Uber Air this will take around 10 minutes.”
“Uber’s technology is changing the way people move around their cities — from bikes to pooled rides, we are always looking for ways to reduce the need for private car ownership. In the coming years, with Uber Air, we want to make it possible for people to push a button and get a flight.”