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Thu, Jun 13, 2019

Melbourne, Australia Joins Dallas, LA As A First Trial City For Uber Air

Aerial Ridesharing Service Expected To Enter Field Trials In Late 2020 Or Early 2021

The Government of Victoria, Australia has announced that its capital city, Melbourne, will join Dallas and Los Angeles as a first trial city for Uber Air, a transformational aerial ridesharing service using small, environmentally friendly electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft within major metropolitan areas. The announcement was made at the Uber Elevate Summit 2019 in Washington, DC. The summit convenes a global community of builders, investors, policy makers and government officials working toward making the vision of urban aerial ridesharing a reality.

Uber Air is being designed to be a fast and convenient way for people to take longer trips to and across cities. Riders will open the Uber app and select the Uber Air option alongside existing UberX and Uber Pool options to request a flight. Uber Air flights will be multimodal, operating between fixed Skyports that will be located based on rider demand, with transportation to and from Skyports being coordinated by the Uber app. Uber Air is expected to enter field trials in late 2020 or early 2021 and potentially launch commercial service in 2023.

Melbourne’s selection follows a rigorous evaluation process by Uber that included several other great international cities. Some of the key advantages considered by Uber that regularly drive innovative companies and ideas to Melbourne included:

  • being Australia’s leading tech city, according to global studies published by Deloitte, The Economist Intelligence Unit and AT Kearney
  • being Australia’s fastest growing city, on track to become Australia’s largest city by 2031, with a history of both driving and embracing innovation
  • a diverse, deeply talented labor pool supported by Australia’s leading universities and top research and development centres
  • a modern regional transport network which is being further enhanced with billions of dollars in infrastructural investment
  • its ranking by the Economist Intelligence Unit as one of the world’s most livable cities every year since 2002

“We are delighted that Melbourne has been chosen as the first international trial city for Uber Air. Victoria is a dynamic, innovative tech State and an economy leading the Asia Pacific region in transformative technologies,” said Robin Scott MP, Assistant Treasurer, Government of Victoria, Australia.

“Melbourne is among the world’s most technologically adept cities, with a population that is comfortable with and has high expectations for what technology can do for them,” said Eric Allison, Head of Uber Elevate. “It’s easy to see why so many innovative global companies choose to establish their regional presence in Melbourne. In addition to the many advantages it has that make it Australia’s fastest growing city, the Government of Victoria, Australia’s active interest and involvement in Uber Air and the Australian government’s track record as an efficient and progressive regulator make Melbourne the perfect partner for us in our quest to develop aerial ridesharing at scale.”

The Government of Victoria, Australia, will work closely with Uber Air leading up to and through the field trial phase. Its team of professionals in Australia and the United States will assist by engaging all levels of government, connecting Uber Air to a range of stakeholders in a vast array of industry sectors, and providing a local perspective and advice to guide the significant community consultation required for success.

(Image provided with Government of Victoria news release)

FMI: www.vic.gov.au

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