Uber partner Bell unveils flying taxi

Uber Elevate partner Bell unveiled its first flying taxi model, the Bell Nexus, at the Consumer Electronics Show this month. The Bell Nexus is designed to carry four passengers as part of Uber’s air taxi service, UberAir, which is slated to start operating in 2023. However, Bell VP of Innovation Scott Drennan tells TechCrunch 2025 is probably the earliest we’ll see a Bell flying taxi in the skies.

[Music] Bell Nexus is the centerpiece of our On-demand mobility philosophy that is Moving people and things from point A to Point B in a more on demand sense Bell Nexus has a lot of wonderful features It’s a hybrid electric system that Proposes us through the air we have six Tilting ducted fans that provide for Better noise performance and better Power performance and we’ve got a really Hot interior to attract new customers And really think about universal access To beats all for people that have Normally never gotten to use it and so You’re expecting to deploy these maybe 2023 in partnership with uber is that Correct well we usually say 2025 on our Side I know Uber has a 2023 and a goal but we think It’s a little more realistic to be out In the middle of the 2020s but we always Strive to you know hit those earlier Dates as well So I imagine you’ve had a lot of Conversations with the FAA one of those Conversations been like hey the FAA and Bell share the same goals safety is Their number one goal safety is our Number one goal so it should be easy to Talk do you envision creating additional Models yeah so we actually have another Model that’s a part of our on-demand Mobility strategy behind the nexus it’s

Called the app it stands for autonomous Pod transport and it’s a small tail Sitting biplane that can carry 20 pounds In the smaller version we have a 70 Pound payload version that’s a larger Vehicle also over there in mock up and We think that’s going to be a family Vehicles that can carry anywhere from 20 Pounds up to a thousand pounds and so in In a standard passenger ride how fast Can we expect these things to go we’re Targeting 150 miles an hour with this Vehicle and a range of 150 miles for our Vehicles hybrid electric so we’ll do That with gasoline generating Electricity and being distributed out to The fans in the future who are certain To have an all-electric version that Would have different ranges and require A full charge every time it did that Initially I imagine fell having human Pilots operating these things but Eventually as a plan to go autonomous Yeah so right now you see Nexus in a Four plus one configuration and we say It like that instead of 5 because that Plus one is initially the pilot because We believe the customers will expect the Pilot to be onboard with them in the Early stages but then as soon as we get All the data we need and people are Starting to feel more comfortable with The idea of having VTOL in their lives Everyday we’ll pull the pilot out and

Have an autonomous vehicle [Music]

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