Uber is taking new steps to demonstrate its drive to conquer the world’s transportation economy.
During the summer of 2017, the multi-billion dollar company based in San Francisco launched UberBOAT, a boat taxi service that is only available in Croatia (for now). You can use UberBOAT to connect to over 1,000 islands in the Adriatic Sea for around $400-500 USD, or rent a boat for the entire day for a little more than $1,000 USD.
But bringing a taxi app to the high seas is far from the only thing the mega-company has planned for the world.
Speaking amidst the World Economic Forum event in Davos, Switzerland, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi made several statements indicating that both flying and autonomous taxis will be available the very near future. On Tuesday, the CEO told Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait, “We will have autonomous cars on the road, I believe, within the next 18 months. Not as a test case but as a real case out there.”
While Khosrowshahi admitted that these first cars will probably not be fully autonomous, “for five percent of cases (in certain cities), everything is going to fall into place and we will send an autonomous car.” He believes that fully autonomous cars everywhere is still “10 to 15 years” away, but will happen faster as these cars begin to “learn the city.”
If that news isn’t big enough, Khosrowshahi also made statements about flying cars (eh, more like sexy helicopters), which he says will be integrated into Uber services in only “5 to 7 years.” Unlike your standard airplane, UberAir vehicles will operate within urban areas. Uber is currently working out the kinks of providing a mass helicopter service, which include achieving a quiet, vertical take-off. “There will be people flying around Dallas, Texas. I think it’s going to happen within the next ten years,” Khosrowshahi told an audience at the DLB tech conference in Munich.
“We’ll always be a company that makes big, bold bets and takes big risks”, the CEO told Bloomberg.