By Robert Haugh
Yesterday, Uber Elevate and The Related Company announced a new aerial ridesharing service that will take off from a skyport in Santa Clara.
Uber Elevate is affiliated with Uber, the car ridesharing company that just went public. The Related Company is developing City Place on the golf course north of the Levi’s Stadium. It’ll be the Mission City’s new uptown. And from what we’ve seen so far it’s going to be a great development. Last month, the developer announced that world-famous architect Norman Foster had signed on.
According to yesterday’s announcement, Santa Clara will be home to “the world’s first aerial rideshare network with safe, quiet, and electric Uber Air vehicles that would transport tens of thousands of people across cities for the same price as an UberX trip of the same distance.”
Jeff Blau, Related’s CEO, said in a statement: “Our shared commitment to innovation and passion for cities and enhancing urban life makes this an ideal partnership,” “Related has been exploring, investing in, and implementing new forms of urban mobility from bike-share to self-driving vehicles – and urban aviation is the next frontier.”
Uber will likely start flights in the Dallas-Fort Worth area next year. Then, they’ll launch in Los Angeles in 2023. It was not announced when flights would begin in Santa Clara.
“The Uber aerial rideshare proposal is exciting and innovative,” said Councilwoman Kathy Watanabe who represents the Northside. “I’ve heard that the rideshare could take people from City Place to SFO in 15 minutes which could be very beneficial and save valuable time for executives, sports teams, concert performers, etc.”
“However, the location for this proposal is in an area that is impacted with departures and takeoffs 365 days a year from San Jose Airport. I hope that noise, impact to neighborhoods, curfews, flight path, and safety will all be considered in the decision-making process.”
If you want to see what an air taxi could look like, here’s a video from the Consumer Electronics Show in January. It’s really different than today’s helicopters.
Stay tuned for more info.