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Sep 12, 2018

Will Air Taxi Add Values to Indian Commuting Trend

A well-known fact and alarming as well that India is leading the world in road deaths. There are many reasons for this state. The traffic situation is really bad in major cities like Delhi, Bangalore etc. Sometime to travel your office distancing 5-7 KMs may take more than 30 minutes due to traffic snarls. Many times, it is a good idea to go by walking instead of taking a taxi to your destination. However, companies like Uber found business opportunity in this major issue as well. Uber is considering to launch an air taxi service in India. Now let us see whether it will be a success or not?. Let us go through a status realty check first.

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Traffic-Related Problems in India
  • Traffic jams generated due to cyclic patch
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  • People are not habitual to obey traffic rules.
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  • Potholes are very common in roads.
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  • Too Many Vehicles on Roads.
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  • Death happening on Indian roads due to traffic accidents are really horrifying. 
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  • However, below is an extract of a report released by the Govt of India on road accident data. 
    • Road accidents drop by 3 %.
    • fatalities drop by 4.75 % between January to July 2017.
    • Road accidents in the country have decreased by around 4.1%  during   2016, 
    • in 2016, the year seeing 4,80,652 road accidents as against 5,01,423 in 2015.  
    • However, fatalities resulting from these accidents have risen by about 3.2% during the same period. 
    • Nearly 1,50,785 persons were killed in 2016 as against 1,46,133 in 2015. 
    • Any are many more such issues which cause the traffic jam and vehicles snarling in major cities.
However, Uber is trying to encash the traffic situation in India to generate new business.  Uber has planned to launched Air Taxi Services in India. This may not be a perfect solution to a problem but may add values. 
What is Air Taxi

  • As per definition in Business Dictionary " Small, short-haul aircraft (usually propeller driven or a helicopter), typically with a seating capacity of 20 or fewer and an operating range of about 250 miles (kilometers)." 

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  • Basically, Air Taxi is a small charter plane or helicopter which makes shortie on demand. 
  • Initially, it was launched in the USA in 2001 and promoted by NASA.
In Aug 2018, Uber conveyed its desire to operate flying taxies in India to Union Minister, Mr. Jayant Sinha. As per communication to union minister, Uber said that India is one of the five counties Uber is evaluating to operate the Air Taxies. Some of the silent features of this proposal are
  • Uber flying taxi is likely to fly at a speed of 150-200 Miles per hours.
  • It is expected to fly at an altitude of 2000 Ft. 
  • Uber considering all Electric flying taxi
  • It can accommodate 4 people including the pilot. 
  • It is expected to have the cylindrical body with large windows. 
  • Once charged, it can cruise to 60 miles.
  • Top up the batteries, it needs 5 minutes time between flights. 
  • The final target is to have pilotless taxies. 
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  • Govt of India has recently release regulations to operate Drones. This will make such services safe for commuters. 
  • IIT Kanpur is also working to develop such vehicle.
  • Airbus has named its such project as VAHANA (A Sanskrit Name). 
Person Jumping Photo

on 31 Aug, Uber released a press release:- " In pursuit of our first international launch market, we are announcing a shortlist of five countries where Uber Air can immediately transform transportation and take our technology to new heights,” Uber Aviation Programs Head Eric Allison said." The five countries Uber is considering for such service are India, Brazil, Japan, Australia, and Franc. 
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If this plan takes off, definitely, it will add a feather in Govt cap which is already trying to solve many traffic issues. This will also facilitate Indian commuters to reach on time at the destination. However, cost implications are yet to be determined. 

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