Uber has unveiled plans for a flying taxi at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The ride-sharing company on Tuesday showed off a full-size mock-up of the electric plane concept vehicle created with South Korean carmaker Hyundai, as it seeks to fly above traffic rather than add to it.
Uber wants to offer aerial ridesharing, allowing a pilot and three passengers to take city trips of up to 60 miles at a speed of up to 180mph. Resembling a winged helicopter and featuring four propellers, Uber and Hyundai joined forces to design a personal air vehicle, or PAV, which can take off and land vertically.
Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick will resign from the board of directors of the US ride-share giant by the end of the year, the company said on Tuesday, effectively severing ties with the outfit he co-founded a decade ago.
Kalanick, who helped found Uber in 2009, stepped down from the company’s helm in June 2017 under pressure from investors, after a string of setbacks.
Under the guise of giving its drivers more access to the banking and financial system, Uber has quietly been developing a loan program that may have the potential to trap drivers in cycles of debt, making them easier for the company to exploit.
In early September, a number of Uber drivers in the US received a notification through their Uber app informing them that the company was developing an “exciting new financial product” to help them “in a time of need”. “If Uber provided access to affordable loans,” an accompanying questionnaire asked, “how likely are you to take advantage of this product?”
For London, Uber is not yet over. But last week’s decision by the capital’s transport authority to reject the global ride-hailing firm’s application to renew its licence has put its long-term prospects in doubt.
For the second time in a few years, Uber is under threat in London. Transport for London has judged the firm to not be “fit and proper”. It’s likely Uber will make a few minor tweaks to win back the licence. But if TfL wants a truly fit and proper ride-hailing service in London, it should establish a driver-owned alternative to Uber.