Posted by William Charles on November 10, 2017

Published on November 10th, 2017 | by William Charles


Recap: Uber Flying Cars For 2020, Hyatt Shifts Strategy & More


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Not impressed in the least by this new “Skift” magazine. Read through a half dozen or so of the glossy stories, none with the least bit of critical analysis or even hints of challenges on the proverbial range, and came up with a better title for the rag:


Will DoC you’re way off on your assessment of Uber here. I hate the company as much as the next guy for being shady among other things. But I feel like you’d benefit from a fact check/correction.

If you listen to any smart entrepreneurs they’ll tell you: uber is NOT a taxi company. They’re a tech company & they’re in the business of selling convenience first & foremost. That’s their core principle & market differentiator. They’re not just reinventing the wheel otherwise everyone would keep using taxis since that’ve also existed for a 100 yrs.

Next, they aren’t talking abt helicopters. You might wanna research a bit more before making yourself sound ignorant. Prototype flying cars already exist & are being tested as we speak. There are a plethora of companies competing for the future & literally working on the flying car concept that we all grew up with watching in sci fi movies. Uber most likely will choose from among the best of these to launch as a test market in LA if plans hold firm.

You have no idea how heavily aviation is regulated here in the US. Uber starting a flying taxi service by 2020 using any kind of not already certified aircraft, such as a scaled up drone design, is absolutely ludicrous. 2030 might be possible, but the FAA will have to get on board with people carrying autonomous technology. And what about ATC? The FAA has been trying to implement NextGen for the last 20 years (spoiler alert: they’re not very good at it), and now Uber thinks it’s a good idea to test and implement all of these new technologies in LA? Their marketing team clearly has no idea of the potential safety issues.

Furthermore, the idea that it can be done and cost the same as a current UberX car ride, is also ridiculous. Certification is expensive. Ongoing maintenance, as determined by the certified maintenance standards, will also not be cheap (but likely much less than a traditional helicopter). And what happens when one of these crashes? How much will Uber be able to afford to pay to settle the inevitable lawsuits?

I wish Uber the best, but it is historically difficult to make money in aviation. And when you’re the trailblazer? God help you. Read up on Eclipse, run by a Silicon Valley team that thought it was possible to revolutionize the bizjet market with VLJs. Look at Icon, trying to create a safe amphibian toy for low time pilots to fly (admittedly, it does look like a lot of fun). Icon’s prototype A5, a conventional aircraft, first flew in 2008 and only started deliveries this year. What Uber says they want to do is far, far more difficult.

“The company’s earning decreased 73.4 percent to $16 million in the third quarter compared with the same period last year.”

Ouch Hyatt.

Let’s see those WoH changes rollback.

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