Last week, the Uber Elevate conference brought together many bright minds from the aviation industry to help the company convince the world that Uber-dispatched aircraft will soon fly over most major cities.
To help cities wrap their heads around this supposed reality, Uber orchestrated an architecture competition, tapping six winning firms to present their concepts for “Skyports”—the places that Uber’s aerial taxi fleet, named UberAIR, will pick up and drop off passengers.
The skyport concepts had to meet the following requirements: They should be able to serve 4,000 passengers per hour in a three-acre footprint, as well as provide additional places for electric aircraft to charge. Plus, the skyports had to be designed in a way that will have a minimal impact on nearby communities.
As they stand now, these hulking structures are essentially just freeway ramps—limited capacity, car-centric infrastructure that would take up a lot of space in our cities but serve only one purpose—and even getting them to work as well as existing freeways will be challenging.
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