Uber and Airbus Are Testing an On-Demand Helicopter Service
Sure, you may have been able to summon things like yellow taxis, black cars, and even kitten deliveries via Uber in 2015, but soon, you might able to request freaking on-demand helicopter service, too. Because it's the damn future, you guys.
Specifically, Uber has teamed up with French aircraft company Airbus for a new test program involving on-demand helicopter rides, similar to its existing car hailing service, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. While there's currently little information on what the service will look like for consumers, the companies plan to launch the project this week at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah with Airbus's H125 and H130 helicopters. An Uber spokesperson confirmed the plans when asked by Mashable, but would not reveal details on pricing and where the service will roll out next.
“Its a pilot project, we’ll see where it goes -- but it’s pretty exciting,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said in an interview with WSJ. As the paper goes on to explain, Uber will send a car to pick you up for your helicopter trip. The goal of the project, at least for Airbus, is to prove there's a viable new business model for helicopter operators and, ultimately, sell more helicopters, according to a press release.
Obviously, this isn't the first on-demand helicopter service to take to the skies, and it's not certainly the first time that Uber has experimented with helicopter service. The ride-hailing company has previously offered its UberChopper service for special events like Bonnaroo in June, the Cannes Film Festival back in May, as well as from Manhattan to the Hamptons a few years ago, per the report. An UberChopper to Formula 1 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin last October cost $400 a person.
Anyway, if these rides cost a few hundred bucks, just imagine what the surge pricing will be like...
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and will probably just have to stick with the forms of transportation he can afford, like walking. Send news tips to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.