Uber execs meet with Modi to discuss air taxi services

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Uber executives met with Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi last week to discuss the future of urban air mobility in India.

Representatives from the ride-hailing company met with PM Modi on September 8 to discuss urban air mobility and showcase its upcoming Uber Air service.

Uber’s Eric Allison, head of aviation programs and Nikhil Goel, the head of product, aviation met with the Prime Minister at the Global Mobility Summit MOVE in New Delhi.

According to the Economic Times of India, the group discussed how an urban air-taxi market could benefit the economy, reduce congestion and lower city pollution.

Alison said: "Uber is committed to partner the government in this mission to Move India forward. I am very excited to be in India and to be discussing the future of urban mobility with one of the most visionary leaders in the world today, PM Modi.”

Uber is in the process of selecting its final international launch city for its Uber Air service which is expected to launch in 2020.

Uber is planning to open its air-taxi service in three cities and has already decided on Dallas and Los Angeles in the US. An unnamed city in India is one of five shortlisted countries that Uber announced it was considering for the third launch. The other four are cities in Japan, France, Brazil and Australia.

Two weeks ago, Uber met with the Japan trade minister to pitch the transport service for either Tokyo or Osaka. This meeting came shortly after the Japanese government announced that it is seeking ¥4.5 billion ($40.4 million) funding to support private-sector development of flying-car tech.

The Ministry also said that it hopes to have flying cars in the skies of Tokyo and Osaka within the next decade.

It is expected that Uber will be holding meetings with leaders from the three remaining countries over the coming weeks to pitch the Uber Air service. Whilst all the countries on the list have expressed an interest in launching air-taxi services over the next decade, Uber is meeting with the countries’s representatives to convince them to adopt the services sooner.