Uber Tests The Wind For Future Flying Vehicle Trials Down Under

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The NSW Government appears likely to agree to a proposal by car-sharing service Uber to conduct trials of road-and-sky flying vehicles in coming years.

Uber has already committed to initial trials of the helicopter-like vehicles in Texas and Dubai in 2020, and Uber executive Jeff Holden has said Sydney is among a small group of cities also in contention to trial the flying vehicles.

Uber claims to be helping develop the futuristic vehicles via a partnership with Bell Helicopters, Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel Aircraft, Embraer and Mooney.

“The NSW Government is very excited about cracking transportation problems in innovative ways,” Uber’s chief product officer Jeff Holden this week told The Australian Financial Review during a Sydney visit.

A spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) warned that regulatory issues would need to be overcome for any trials to go ahead, including who would be qualified to fly the vehicles; whether they would fly in controlled or uncontrolled airspace; and how they could be managed alongside drones, planes and ultralights.

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