Speaking at an investor forum in Tokyo, Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi revealed that he expects the firm’s flying taxis to be come available for commercial service within the next five to 10 years.
Uber last year revealed that it is working with NASA on the development of its aircraft, with the aim of testing the autonomous flying taxis in Los Angeles in 2020.
“Combining Uber’s software engineering expertise with NASA’s decades of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward,” said Uber’s Chief Product Office, Jeff Holden, at a Web Summit in Lisbon in November.
Khosrowshahi also stated during the summit that he expects flying vehicles to become an affordable alternative method of transportation in the not so distant future.
The market is beginning to grow as an increasing number of leading firms weigh into the developing industry.
Alongside Uber, Intel, Toyota and Airbus have all made recent inroads, either through investments into smaller industry-based firms or the development of their own alternatives.
Further, Uber is competing with existing market players such as Lilium, a startup that expects to complete its first manned flight in 2019 and launch an on-demand air transportation service by 2025.
Khosrowshahi’s appearance at the investor summit marked his first visit to Asia as the CEO of Uber.