There are two facts in life; one is that nature is a constant battle for survival and only the fittest strongest, fastest, smartest and anything that is better. The other is that in war, humanity becomes the most creative.
Competition is war; the AV race led to companies such as Waymo to outdo Uber in the race for a reliable AV software/hardware solution. However, the AV is only one concept among many, and one of the most important aspects of technology is the development of a cheap, reliable and sustainable source of energy.
This is where Uber comes into the picture again. It is constantly seeing ways to assure its future income and market domination. That is why it is researching and developing a lightweight, long lasting, battery pack for its Uber Elevate project.
Uber Elevate is a new mobility project aimed at releasing a flying taxi VTOL alternative to land transportation by the year 2023. There are a number of steps in the project, and they include the development of VTOL for carrying single to multiple passenger planes. They want these planes to be electric, so they need to develop a light-weight long lasting battery, and they want to make the craft AV.
The deign of the craft is already being competed, the AV is being developed too, what needs to be developed is the most critical part, and hardest to develop, the battery. Uber wants the battery to support a fight schedule of up to 60 miles. To do this, Uber contracted former Tesla battery expert, Celina Mikolajczak to speed up the process.
Usually, Uber outsources such projects, but now they want to develop in house since the battery pack is what will make their service either lead the field or be just another service in the air. The battery has to deal with weight as well as handling the AV and flying requirements, these demands on energy will make distance and issue.
Mikolajczak explained to the media that "We want to make sure that our partners have access to a pack that meets our safety, reliability, performance, and lifetime targets." So, while Uber's Uber Air partners are deigning the VTOL (Bell Helicopters) and their AV development team are still improving their AV technology, Uber will develop in house, under extreme secrecy, their special battery pack unit.