Flying taxi shuttles may be closer to becoming reality than you think. Ride-hailing service Uber is targeting having its Uber Elevate on-demand air service in operation in some select urban areas by 2020. Check out the new video below to see the company’s vision.

Like so much of the future of urban transportation, electrification and mobile technology will be key. Uber’s vision is a fleet of electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (EVTOL), which will be (supposedly) quiet enough not to drive us all crazy. Riding in them will be safe (supposedly) thanks to artificial-intelligence based collision avoidance and navigation systems. And (supposedly) the cost will be affordable; this is not just a way for the rich to avoid traffic jams in crowded cities like Los Angeles, one of the first metropolitan areas that will see Uber Elevate, Uber claims.

We’ll see about all that in a few short years.

Uber Elevate does fit in with the urban transportation system that many futurists and urban planners expect to see develop in the coming decade, where most city dwellers won’t need to own a car since they’ll rather pay to get around in a well-integrated ride-hailing and mass-transportation system. (See an earlier article I wrote about this.)

Further reading:

Uber’s ‘flying cars’ could arrive in LA by 2020 — and here’s what it’ll be like to ride one
The Verge
November 8, 2017

Uber Teams with NASA on ‘Flying Car’ Project
November 9, 2017

Uber whitepaper: Fast-Forwarding to a Future of On-Demand Urban Air Transportation
October 27, 2016

Top video credit: Uber