Flying cars may not yet be a reality, but if bridges can sail rivers, can’t be too far behind. Picking up the pace are Uber and NASA, which plan to test their flying vehicles as early as 2020.
Uber is looking to speed development of a new industry of electric, on-demand, urban air taxis, [Chief Product Officer] Holden said, which customers could order up via smartphone in ways that parallel the ground-based taxi alternatives.
Much like a regular Uber, the airborne taxi will hold up to 4 passengers. It will also run at 200 miles an hour — perfect for traffic congested cities. NASA has stepped in to develop a software for air traffic management as well as ensure the taxis are safe.
“We are very much embracing the regulatory bodies and starting very early in discussions about this and getting everyone aligned with the vision,” he said of Uber’s plans to introduce what he called “ride-sharing in the sky”.
Autonomous vehicles may not be everyone’s cup of tea — much less when they’re in the sky. But if NASA is on board with it, it’s likely we will be, too.
In September of 2017, tech company Zipline began testing drone deliveries for blood transfusions. Now, its collaboration with ride service Uber has become a reality. Since its launch, “Uber for blood” has delivered 5,500 units of blood to rural Rwanda, saving hundreds of lives.
“The work in Rwanda has shown the world what’s possible when you make a national commitment to expand healthcare access with drones and help save lives.” [said Zipline co-founder Keller Rinaudo.]
What initially took some 4 hours of delivery time from major cities now takes only 30 minutes. Simultaneously, hospitals are able to store less blood, lessening waste from spoilt containers. Considering Zipline’s success, the company hopes to begin delivering various other supplies such as sutures and tubes.
“We know who needs medicine, when and where. And now, we can get them that medicine as quickly as possible.” [said Rinaudo.]
With the exponential rise of traffic jams and continued accessibility of drones, Zipline and Uber may have just hit the jackpot.
Rush hour is not anyone’s favorite time of the day, but from time to time, we inevitably find ourselves in the middle of it. However, 15-minute-turned-2-hour drives don’t always leave us prepared for hunger pangs and total boredom. Cargo, a startup that allows Uber drivers to sell a quirky mix of items mid-ride, is not only helping them make an extra buck, but also alleviates our traffic-induced hiccups.
Cargo partners with brands to put candy, protein bars, tampons, and condoms in a case that sits within reach of passengers. The case comes with a code unique to each driver, which passengers use to record what they took during the ride.
Drivers get a bit of extra money from Cargo for the things their passengers take, regardless of whether the riders made a purchase or just took something for free. Passengers can even tip their drivers through Cargo, too.
While the extra income earned from Cargo is nothing hair-raising, drivers are not charged for having a case of goodies in their car.
“Our mission is to help drivers earn more by providing the best ride experience possible,”
“For passengers, you never have to worry about your phone dying, riding hungover, or suffering through that snack-less midnight ride from the airport,”
Cargo is clearly going above and beyond simple customer care, and we couldn’t be more grateful!