Uber aims to launch flying taxis in India, holding talks with govt

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Uber, a San Francisco-based ride-hailing firm has been, reportedly, in dialogue with the government of India to start in a regulatory framework for flying taxis in the country, reported ET.

“Over the last one year, we have been holding conversations with regulators in India and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Nikhil Goel, head of product, aviation at Uber.

The company, know for its fleet of taxi services across the country has plans to launch Uber Air, which is also termed as ‘Uber Elevate’. The aviation initiative include aerial electric ride-hailing service and other ancillary air transport, for instance, food delivery.

Goel further said that Uber had also held discussions with former aviation minister Jayant Sinha to build aerial mobility infrastructure and framework, which have been positively received.

“From a regulatory perspective, India has had a great start to aerial mobility, with the drone regulation being passed, so the future looks a lot more promising. The next step is to take a look at what the Federal Aviation Administration in the US and EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) in Europe are doing with regard to passenger travel and decide on taking steps for that too,” he added.

Uber is an American multinational transportation network company which is based-out of San Francisco. It offers services that include peer-to-peer ridesharing, ride service hailing, food delivery, and a bicycle-sharing system.

The talks between the ride-hailing giant and the government came to light after Uber revealed plans to launch Uber Air project in international markets including India, Japan, France, Brazil and Australia.

Uber Air will be launched in India over the next 5-10 years, a top company executive told ET.

“India has this amazing way of leapfrogging, and even if they are not the first one to adopt technology, they are definitely the quickest to get the most advanced technologies,” Goel said.

The biggest challenge for Uber’s Air initiative will be regulatory compliances, primarily related to safety of passengers, infrastructure upgrades needed for scale and scarcity of trained pilots in the system. 


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