Flying cars may be developed and in testing by 2020, according to plans unveiled by taxi operator Uber. 

Uber says it hopes to trial flying electric taxis in Dallas, USA, and Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, over the next three years. The vehicles will be developed with the support of aviation companies, such as Bell Helicopter and Embraer. 

‘UberAIR’ aims to offer passengers the chance to order flying taxis in the same way they would book a usual journey. The company suggests the new transport method would be quicker, more environmentally-friendly and eventually cheaper than land-based travel. The vehicles will take off and land vertically, enabling passengers to use them as part of a daily commute. 

The company says it is aiming to launch the first ‘Uber Elevate Network’ demonstration at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai, with plans to have the flying network available to the public by 2023. 

Uber has also been investing in driverless technology – something a consortium of British firms have pledged to test on British roads in less than two years’ time. 

Christalla Christodoulidou, a serious injury solicitor at Thompsons, said: “These developments could completely change how people get from A to B. However, testing of this technology remains limited, and for many people the proposals will seem more akin to a science fiction film than real life at the moment. 

“Uber’s aim to be using flying cars commercially in six years’ time seems extremely ambitious, and you would have thought they should be prioritising sorting out their lamentable employment practices. 

“While we welcome any efforts to relieve the burden on British roads, a lot of research is needed before it can even consider carrying passengers whose safety, along with that of the driver is our primary concern.”