European aerospace giant will be providing the Helicopters to Uber as announced by the CEO Tom Enders. He added that H125 and H130 helicopters will be used to ferry passengers. Additionally, Uber will employ its cars to pick the passengers and drop them to and from the landing site. This initiative is known as “pilot project” and will debut at the Sundance Film Festival this week. Air Resources, a Utah-based company will operate the service.
Uber was launched in 2009 and provides on-demand cars for local trips via its Smartphone app. However, it has not limited its offerings to cars; it offers on-demand rickshaws in India and on-demand boats in Turkey. With this partnership, it has made it clear that the company is moving to new markets and targets rich customers who can’t be bothered with the traffic.
Uber experimented with its UberChopper service between Hamptons and Manhattan in 2013. It has also offered helicopter rides for events like Cannes Film Festival or Bonnaroo Music Festival. These rides from Uber ranged between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
As Uber has been using helicopters before, but not as a part of permanent service option, this initiative shows that Airbus is trying to expand its reach to Silicon Valley by partnering with Uber.
Enders has taken a step toward this partnership to make sure that his company remains innovative in aerospace technology while there are several competitors like SpaceX, Alphabet Inc (Parent company of Google) and Facebook Inc that are taking steps to develop new aerospace projects. These companies have already taken many projects like building rockets and providing the internet from aircraft, placed at higher altitude.
Last year, Enders established a $150 million fund to make technology investments in Silicon Valley. Last week, Airbus Group Ventures announced its first investment. It invested into Local Motors, a collaborative engineering company.
The partnership has been confirmed by Uber; however the prices are yet to be declared.
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