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Uber is elevating its UberAir pilot program to include Melbourne, Australia

The ride-hailing giant hopes to have test flights up and running by 2020 and commercially available flights going by 2023.

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UberAir is planning on taking to the skies over Melbourne by 2020, even if that seems highly ambitious to us.

Uber

For some reason that we can't fully grasp, people continue to look to flying cars as a valid means of transportation in the future. Uber has really doubled down on this idea, having already named Los Angeles and Dallas as pilot cities for its UberAir aerial rideshare program, announced on Tuesday that it is adding a third city: Melbourne, Australia.

The really wild part is that Uber plans on starting test flights as early as 2020 and hopes to have the program commercially viable and available to the public by 2023 -- which, if you couldn't tell, is an incredibly short timeline.

So, why Melbourne? It's not Australia's largest or most cosmopolitan city, though it's reasonably close on both counts. We wouldn't put it past Uber to just be huge Kylie Minogue or Dirty Three fans though.

"Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ride-sharing and future transport technology," Susan Anderson, regional general manager for Uber in Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, said in a statement. "This, coupled with Melbourne's unique demographic and geospatial factors and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the perfect third launch city for Uber Air. We will see other Australian cities following soon after."

A large part of Uber's plan to take to the skies involves the development of electric helicopterlike aircraft that will be both ecologically friendly and significantly quieter than traditional helicopters, both because of their lack of noisy turbine engines and because they will use multiple smaller rotors to provide lift, rather than a single large one.

To get these craft designed, built and approved by governmental agencies within its highly truncated time frame, Uber has partnered with several established aerospace companies, including Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, EmbraerX, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions and Bell.

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