When Will Flying Ubers Be In California?

When Will Flying Ubers Be In California? | California Rideshare Lawyer

Recently, flying cars–officially known as VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicles–have received increased media attention and, more importantly, FAA approval.  While the implementation and actual use of these vehicles are still likely years away, soon enough we may have to deal with them on California roads–and through the air.

As with any new vehicle technology, ridesharing services like Uber are at the forefront of developing and implementing flying vehicles to better serve their customers. In December 2020, Uber announced a $75 million dollar investment and deal with Joby Aviation to consolidate each company’s respective services. As the technology of flying cars continues to inch closer to reality, you may be wondering how long it will be until you can hail a ride on one of these vehicles in California.

How Does a Flying Car Work?

A flying car is a vehicle that combines a regular car and an airplane. It can do two things: drive on the road like a normal car and fly in the air like an airplane. The idea of a flying car includes the following:

  • Taking off and landing – A flying car can go up and down vertically, similar to a helicopter or a drone. It uses special propellers or rotors, usually powered by electricity, to lift it off the ground and land without needing a long runway.
  • Flying horizontally – Once the flying car is in the air, it can change its position to fly horizontally, like an airplane. It does this by adjusting its propellers or using additional engines. Some designs even have rotors that can fold or retract to make flying easier.
  • Moving forward – To move forward while flying, the flying car uses traditional airplane methods. It can have jet engines, turboprops, or electric motors that power the propellers or fans. To know where to go, it uses advanced computer systems with GPS, radar, and sensors to navigate and avoid obstacles.
  • Power source – Flying cars can be powered by electricity or regular fuels, depending on the design. Electric power is cleaner and quieter, which is good for flying in cities. It can use batteries, fuel cells, or a combination of electric and regular fuel systems.
  • Controls and safety – Flying cars need advanced control systems to make sure they fly smoothly and safely. These systems include computers, sensors, and automated features to help the pilot or even fly autonomously. The software and algorithms control the movements of the flying car, keeping it stable and responding to the pilot or the environment.

It’s important to know that flying cars are still being developed and face many challenges before they become widely available. Things like infrastructure, air traffic rules, safety regulations, and public acceptance need to be figured out. So, while we have prototypes and tests, we still need more advancements and rules before we can use flying cars in our everyday lives.



Are Flying Cars Legal in California?

Although a legal framework doesn’t exist yet for licensed drivers to use flying cars in California, other VTOL vehicles are in use throughout the state. As with autonomous vehicles, certain VTOLs are piloted by humans, while others are unmanned.

What this means, legally, is that the framework for flying cars will most likely be similar to that of autonomous vehicles. Moreover, because a flying car is ultimately a motor vehicle, it’s also likely that accidents involving them will be treated the same way as a normal vehicle. As it stands now, liability in a California car accident is determined by negligence, but in the case of flying cars, multiple parties could potentially be held accountable:

  • The manufacturer of the flying car
  • The parts manufacturer
  • Other drivers
  • The software developer
  • The city or government agency

The specific circumstances surrounding your accident will determine which party or parties can be held liable for your injuries or damages. In such cases, the following damages are typically considered:

  • Medical expenses.
  • Ongoing care costs.
  • Lost wages.
  • Pain and suffering.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Car accidents in California often result in injuries, and when you add a flying car to the mix, the situation will probably become even more complex and stressful. Fortunately, by working with experienced car accident lawyers, you can identify who is responsible for your injuries and explore the available options for moving forward.

When Will There Be Flying Ubers in California?

The short answer to this question is: possibly soon. Flying cars have been in development for years and with government approval, a major step toward implementation was cleared. With that said, there is no firm date for when flying Ubers will be available in California.

Joby Aviation, the company working on the aircraft for Uber Air, plans to start offering rides in 2024.

Even with delays, there has been significant progress made in recent years in terms of the technology and development of flying Ubers. However, there are still hurdles to clear:

  • Safety – The aircraft must be proven to be safe for both passengers and bystanders.
  • Regulation – The aircraft must meet all applicable safety and environmental regulations.
  • Infrastructure – There needs to be a network of landing pads in place to support flying Ubers.
  • Demand – There needs to be enough demand for flying Ubers to make the business model viable.

Contact Rideshare Law Office Today

While flying cars are still being developed, it’s clear that sooner rather than later, we’ll be able to see them–and ride in them. As with any vehicle, there’s always the chance that you find yourself in an accident.

If you find yourself in a situation like this while using a flying Uber, Rideshare Law Office is here to help. We will navigate you through California’s legal process and make sure the company at fault takes responsibility. Our knowledge and resources are dedicated to ensuring you receive the necessary assistance and support for your recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can provide our assistance.