Jeff Holden, Uber’s head of product development, announced details about their flying taxis at the Web Summit in Lisbon last week. The usual 90-minute commute from San Jose to San Francisco will be cut to 15 minutes – 1/6 of the time it takes now! The technology and designs already exist for the Electrical Vertical Take-Off and Landing (EVTOL) vehicles. The devil as usual is in the details – details such as Uber partnering with NASA to create a custom air traffic control system to manage proposed fleets of low-flying aircraft. Targeting Los Angeles, Dallas and Dubai, Uber insists that such traffic congested cities would be easily addressed by deployment of this inexpensive mass transit method. It would not add to the existing traffic nightmares and the video’s tagline “closer than you think” may be truer than you believe with Air Bus and Boeing already working on Uber’s flying car fleet.
Watch video about Uber’s “flying taxis – coming in 2020”
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Fear of jobless growth is born out of the rapidly advancing technologies in artificial intelligence.
Most industries seem to enjoy an equally rapid adoption of robotics. Even Bill Gates has said there should be a heavy tax on robots that take jobs away from humans. Others argue that technologies are job creators and taxing robots and other technologies is flawed. History shows that jobs are not created or lost because of a single technology. In the example of Uber’s flying taxis, tens of thousands of taxi cab drivers’ jobs wouldn’t necessarily be lost, but new higher skilled jobs would be created operating and managing the EVTOL vehicles. Historically, new technologies have supported new businesses which in turn have created new job opportunities. Without digital technology, we would still have mechanical technology but we would not have 3-D printing. Good business decisions must include faster access to emerging technologies, more support for new businesses and more dialogue about probable and long-term effects.
Read about bracing for technological disruptions
NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology
, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not too distant future. Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.