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Uber Offers Helicopter Rides To Sundance Film Festival

18 January 2016, 11:38 am EST By Robin Burks Tech Times
Need a ride to Utah for the Sundance Film Festival? You can now call Uber for a helicopter ride to Park City, thanks to a partnership between that company and Airbus.  ( Uber )

Uber comes in handy when you need an inexpensive and easy way to get from Point A to Point B. However, Uber recently expanded beyond offering rides in cars to offering rides in helicopters, thanks to a new partnership with Airbus.

In fact, Uber plans on starting this new helicopter service at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, offering users a chance to arrive in Park City in style, via a chopper.

Uber began testing its UberChopper service in 2013, particularly with special events, such as the Cannes Film Festival and the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Now, though, the service is available to anyone attending Sundance: just contact Uber and tell them you need a ride and an Airbus H125 or H130 helicopter will pick you up.

Of course, such a service won't come as cheap as a ride in an Uber car: expect to pay at least several hundred to several thousands of dollars for the lift. Many attending Sundance can afford to pay that, so it's likely the service will become a hit, particularly if snowy conditions make roads dangerous in the area (Park City is also a ski destination, so snow and ice are common this time of the year).

"It's a pilot project, we'll see where it goes — but it's pretty exciting," said Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders to the The Wall Street Journal.

UberChopper will work like this: riders can hail a helicopter via the Uber app. A car will come and pick passengers up and take them to the helicopter. The helicopter will take them to their desired location: it's also likely that if a helicopter can't go to a specific location directly, a car will pick up passengers after the helicopter drops them off to take them to their final destination.

Uber launched in 2009 and allows the public to use a smartphone app to request vehicles for trips, mostly local. However, it's also expanded into other kinds of transportation, including boats in Turkey and rickshaws in India.

This new helicopter service gives Uber some edge over its competition, such as Lyft, but the company still angers many traditional taxi services, who want both companies out of their markets.

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