Uber just revealed the concept designs for the company’s UberAir Skyports.
During the second day of the Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles, the company’s architect and design partners revealed concept designs for future UberAir Skyports. These skyports will act as the vertical take-off and landing areas of the Uber’s VTOL flying taxis.
The company plans to demonstrate the technology by 2020 and begin its commercial operation in 2023.
Based on the concept designs, the skyports are required to support over 4,000 passengers per hour within a three-acre area. They will also be able to recharge Uber’s electric VTOL aircraft in between each trip.
“What I think is truly different,” Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, said, “is building this to not be a service for the few, but a service that is ultimately available for mass market.”
The Skyport designs were presented by six architecture firms including those from Pickard Chilton and Arup, Humphreys & Partners, BOKA Powell, Gannett Fleming, The Beck Group, and Corgan.
Here are some of the concepts for the future UberAir Skyports.
1. Pickard Chilton and Arup
Pickard Chilton and Arup’s design involves a structure with dozens of stories rising into the air. A single module in their Skyport will allow 180 VTOLs per hour and could accommodate up to 1,800 passengers during that time.
2. Gannet Fleming – The Paw
Gannett Fleming calls the design it has made as the “Paw.” Their concept would reportedly support about 52 VTOL vehicles every hour per module. They could also accommodate over 600 arrivals and departures and around 4,000 people per hour by the year 2028.
Corgan’s design could potentially be built over existing highway networks.
4. Humphrey & Partners – The Uber Hover
Humphreys & Partners’ design known as the”Uber Hover” draws inspiration from a beehive. However, on closer look, one can also see its resemblance with an Ewok village on Star Wars.
5. Beck Group – The Hive
Just like the Humphrey’s & Partners concept design, the Beck Group’s UberAir Skyport concept took a similar bee-like approach they called the “The Hive.”
6. BOKA Powell
Last but not the least is BOKA Powell’s design, which the architecture firm claims could handle 1,000 takeoffs and landings per hour. Its structure could also reverse itself to accommodate changes in wind direction.
At the moment, all of these are conceptual designs, but it shows the company’s determination to make their skyports a reality.