Uber first showed a prototype of its flying taxi

CBS News journalists have an exclusiveopportunity to first look at the prototype of a flying taxi company Uber, which, according to plans, will have to take to the air with the first passengers somewhere in 2020. The company will also show a prototype of a flying taxi at the Uber Elevate Summit event, which will be held in Los Angeles this week.

In general, the design of the device is more likebig kvadrokopter, rather than a flying car. A few rotors of a flying taxi will allow vertical takeoff and landing. The body of the device - closer to the aircraft fuselage, rather than a helicopter. Flying Uber taxi will work on electricity, therefore, as the journalists of the TV channel say, the device will be quieter, more efficient and more economical than a regular helicopter.

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According to the executive directorUber's Dara Khosrovshahi, people will be able to order a flying taxi through a mobile application, and then be sent to the nearest air port on the roof of one of the buildings. In addition, the company plans to offer a separate payment service: each unit will be able to take on board up to four passengers, which will reduce the final cost of the flight.

“We want to create a whole network of such flyinga taxi so that even ordinary people who are sick of traffic jams can pay for long-distance flights at affordable prices, ”Kosrovshakhi commented to CBS News.

As various sources indicate, so earlyBy showing the prototype, the company probably decided to divert public attention from the incident that occurred in Arizona in March of this year. Recall that the Uber unmanned vehicle hit a cyclist crossing the road in the wrong place at night.

The investigation of this incident is stillcontinues, and as it became known, new details surfaced in it. According to the latest data, the accident occurred due to the fault of "incorrectly configured software." We are talking about software that, on the basis of the data received from sensors and cameras, instructs the computer to “ignore obstacles on the road”.

The software should have been programmed like this.way to stop the car in front of really serious obstacles. As explained by the company, this measure was forced, because otherwise the drone would have slowed down before each package flying on the road. Unfortunately, a programming error led to the tragedy - the car drove into the cyclist at full speed.