Uber's 'Elevate' project will bring flying electric cars to cities by 2021

Travis Kalanick

REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.

Uber has launched a new project to bring flying cars to commuters by 2021.

The company published a white paper today outlining its plans for Uber Elevate, a network of on-demand electric aircraft. Known as VTOL aircraft - short for Vertical Take-Off and Landing - the aircraft would be used to shorten commute times in busy cities, turning a two-hour drive into a 15-minute trip.

According to a piece out from Wired on the new plans, Uber doesn't plan to build the aircraft themselves. The ride-hailing company will bring together private companies and the government to deal with the larger issues of making this project a reality, Wired reports. Advertisement

The vehicles would be able to travel at about 150 mph for up to 100 miles and carry multiple people, including a pilot, according to Wired.

Uber says the project will have "significant cost advantages" over other modes of solving transportation problems, like building new roads, bridges, or tunnels. The company suggests parking garages and helipads could be repurposed to be used as "vertipods" and "vertistops." Uber says that since the planes don't need to follow set routes, it would help avoid congestion and improve commute times.

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