In less than five years, Melburnians will be able to book and share a 10-minute trip from the CBD to Melbourne airport courtesy of Uber Air’s flying car fleet.
The ridesharing giant has announced that Melbourne has been selected as the third official pilot city, joining Dallas and Los Angeles as test cities for the Uber Air program.
The prototype — not quite a helicopter or a plane — is set to become a familiar site in Melbourne from next year as the company launches test flights from next year ahead of commercial operations from 2023.
Uber cited the Victorian government’s forward-looking approach and Australia’s “wholehearted” embrace of the ridesharing app as reasons for its choice. Melbourne was chosen over shortlisted cities Paris, Sao Paolo, Mumbai, Tokyo and Sydney after an 18-month selection process.
While it all sounds a little futuristic, Uber’s plans are concrete: the company has announced partnerships with Macquarie, Telstra, Scentre Group and the Melbourne Airport to fast track the infrastructure and aviation network required to run Uber Air.
“The future of transport is coming to Melbourne and we’re ready to make it happen,” Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas said on Wednesday.