Uber’s ambitions for air taxis are coming to an end

Uber‘s ambitious effort to launch an air-taxi service is coming to an end, as the company has agreed to sell its Uber Elevate segment to startup Joby Aviation.

The news comes as Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, tries to push his company toward profit by selling the losing sectors of the company.

Uber is also said to be exploring autonomous vehicle sales.

Uber first announced its interest in launching a network of electric flying taxis in a white paper published in 2016.

Uber calculates that a two-hour, 12-minute flight from San Francisco to San Jose becomes a 15-minute flight via the air taxi service.

Last year, Uber began offering helicopter flights from Manhattan to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The purpose of the trips was to provide a glimpse of what the experience would be like using the Uber app to request a flight instead of a car ride, and the company saw it as an opportunity to collect data for an air taxi service.

Those plans relied on electrified aviation technology, which was still under development and had not yet been tested as part of a commercial service.

Choosing Joby Aviation as the buyer makes sense: in December 2019, the ride-sharing company said it was joining the airline, which has been working on electric aircraft for more than a decade.

Joby Aviation was the first company to stick to Uber’s strict schedule to launch air taxi service by 2023.

Unlike the dozens of other companies that are currently building eVTOL vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, Joby Aviation has kept a large portion of its project secret.

The few displays out there show a hybrid drone with 12 fans and cabin space for four.

In January 2020 Joby Aviation announced its collaboration with Toyota to launch an air taxi service using its new aircraft.

The electric plane has six propellers and five seats, and it can take off vertically, like a helicopter.

Joby Aviation says: The plane can reach a maximum speed of 200 miles per hour, and cover a distance of 150 miles on a single charge, which is 100 times quieter than conventional aircraft.

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