Uber CEO: Flying cars across U.S. skies within 10 years

Stefan Nicola and Oliver Sachgau
Bloomberg L.P.

Flying cars will be zipping across U.S. skies within the coming decade — at least that’s what Uber Technologies Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi predicts.

“There will be people flying around Dallas, Texas,” Khosrowshahi said at the DLD tech conference in Munich, his first public appearance in Europe since taking over the top job at Uber last year. “I think it’s going to happen within the next ten years.”

Back down on the ground, the Uber CEO cited congested cities as one of the issues his company can help solve, for example by increasing the number of electric vehicles. Fully autonomous taxis are still 10 to 15 years away, however, because of the effort needed to create 3-D maps and since sensors are still too expensive, he said.

Uber plans to expand to more cities in Germany this year, and has new plans for London. The CEO said Uber has committed to have a hybrid or electric fleet in London — “if they let us back in.” For Uber Eats, which Khosrowshahi said is “absolutely exploding,” he predicted it will be the largest food-delivery company in the world this year.

“We are now going from growth at all costs to responsible growth,” Khosrowshahi said, as local taxi drivers demonstrated outside, whistling in protest over the competition from the U.S. startup. Uber’s corporate culture crisis last year was so great that Khosrowshahi didn’t need to convince anyone that change was needed when he came in, he said. Now, Uber is committed to doing “the right thing, period.”