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An Embraer/Uber air taxi?An Embraer/Uber air taxi?

Embraer, known for its airliners and business jets, appears to be exploring a partnership with Uber. The concept, called Uber Elevate Network, envisions the use of small, electrically powered vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) vehicles to shuttle passengers for short distances around metropolitan areas. The agreement between Embraer and Uber was announced April 25 at the Uber Elevate Summit in Dallas.

Though Embraer is a newcomer to the emerging world of electrically powered aircraft, its sees potential for growth in this area. The partnership is a project developed by the company’s Embraer Business Innovation Center in Melbourne, Florida. “We firmly believe we need to explore several new business concepts that may impact air transportation in the future. This is a unique opportunity to complement the air transport knowledge of a visionary and revolutionary ground transport company. On exercising this partnership, we will be developing new technologies, new products and new business models which could generate opportunities for Embraer in the future,” said Embraer CEO Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva.

Embraer has yet to enter into the project’s design definition phase, has released no illustrations, and has not generated any mockups. Even so, Embraer’s Vice President for Corporate Innovation Antonio Campello sounded bullish, albeit vague, when he said that “Embraer’s leadership roles in commercial and business aviation were attained through the introduction of disruptive aircraft and services, and we are confident that our DNA will add value to new concepts in urban transportation as well.”

Thomas A. Horne

Thomas A. Horne

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
Topics: Aviation Industry

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