Uber reportedly looking to sell off Elevate, its flying taxi division

Polycount

Posts: 2,760   +571
Staff member
In context: Ride-hailing company Uber has been focusing on decluttering lately; shaving off excess companies and business strategies that are doomed to fail and continue to sap cash from the company's coffers. Last month, we reported on rumors that the company is in talks to sell off its self-driving car business, and now, it seems Uber is poised to do the same with its flying taxi division.

This information comes courtesy of a new report from Axios. The outlet claims that "Uber Elevate" could be shipped off to Joby Aviation after four years of operation, putting an end to the company's skyward ambitions.

If Uber moves forward with the sale, it's probably going to be a smart move in the long run. Uber is a company that arguably tried to spread its wings too far, too fast. It had its hands in food and product delivery, ride-hailing, freight, the self-driving industry, and the focus of today's piece; its air taxi business.

That's simply too much for the company to focus on all at once, especially as it continues to struggle with turning a profit.

Divesting the "assets" that aren't making it any money is a no-brainer for Uber, and will probably give the company much more financial breathing room to focus on the areas that it excels: the core ride-hailing service and Uber Eats. Both services rely on freelancers to function, which aren't particularly expensive compared to hiring best-in-class talent to work on industry-changing tech like self-driving vehicles.

Of course, the pandemic probably hasn't helped any of Uber's non-core business interests either -- if it weren't for Covid-19, who knows? Perhaps the company's air taxi work would have taken off, so to speak.

Permalink to story.

 

VitalyT

Posts: 5,281   +4,551
When the business doesn't take off. LOL.

Who else saw this one coming? It would suffice to say that flying cars have been in development since 1980-s, with countless companies. Where are they now?
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,340   +1,214
It would suffice to say that flying cars have been in development since 1980-s, with countless companies. Where are they now?
Since at least the 1960s, if not earlier.

However, now that we have the computers and sensors for them to fly autonomously, and the battery density to enable electric propulsion, they actually are now on the verge of practicality ... not necessarily for Mom and Pop outings, but for inner-city taxi runs and the like.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 264   +309
In the space of a year Uber goes from being some ride-sharing juggernaut to hocking its moonshots
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,788   +6,424
Something tells me that their lawyers finally got through to them and talked about the liability they would face with such things .... better to invest in Uber skate boards .....
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 624   +722
TechSpot Elite
Did anyone ever ACTUALLY think that this was a good idea? Flying cars will never...well...fly. This is because the sky would be so congested with traffic; traffic that would be extremely dangerous. Remember, an accident on the street affects only the parties involved. An accident in the air affects all parties involved plus everyone and everything on the ground below them. This is also ignoring the fact that they'd be extremely energy inefficient because of the energy to keep them aloft as well as propelled.

I pity the fools who actually paid real money for this smoke-and-mirrors company.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,340   +1,214
The sky would be so congested with traffic; traffic that would be extremely dangerous.
You're forgetting the third dimension involved. If one assumes ground traffic can instead travel on one of 50 different altitude corridors, each individual level has 1/50 the congestion of that ground-level traffic.

This is also ignoring the fact that they'd be extremely energy inefficient because of the energy to keep them aloft
In urban areas, autos waste nearly all their energy in stop-and-go traffic, and idling stopped at lights and congested areas. These taxis would avoid all that, giving them the potentially to be more energy-efficient, not less. In any case, the real savings is in time, which for the customers these companies intend to serve initially, is beyond price.