Published: Thu, November 09, 2017
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

UberAIR: Tech giant partners with NASA ahead of flying taxi fleet

UberAIR: Tech giant partners with NASA ahead of flying taxi fleet

Under this NASA deal, Uber will develop the software traffic management system that would be used to manage these flying vehicles.

Combining Uber's technological development with NASA's expertise in air space and simulation environments will "make this happen as fast as possible", Holden told Bloomberg.

Los Angeles and Dallas are the first cities being proposed to host Uber's proposed network of flying taxis, and the company expects them to be in heavy use by the time L.A. hosts the 2028 Olympics.

The flying taxi project could drastically reduce trip times by avoiding traffic while remaining relatively low-priced.

It's no secret that Uber has been eyeing this potential future, indicating that it may launch a low-altitude flying taxi service not dissimilar from its road-based transportation.

According to Uber's CPO Jeff Holden, the flying taxis will attain speeds in excess of 320km/h and carry up to four people, cutting journey times across major cities.

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Alex Comisar, Garcetti's press secretary, said discussions with the company operating the technology in the city are in the preliminary stages.

The ride-hailing company announced Wednesday it wants to bring airborne taxi service to the city by 2020.

First, electric vehicles that perform as the company hopes just don't exist.

The partnership, announced today at WebSummit in Lisbon, is not beyond Uber's personal ambitions either. But on Wednesday Uber announced it would also be running demonstrator flights in Los Angeles in 2020.

And it seems that Uber has been making the moves to ensure it will happen. "NASA is very focused on getting [uncrewed traffic management] adoption and pressure-testing the framework and make sure it works correctly", Holden said in an interview, as reported by The Verge.

Uber Elevate said, about this endeavor, that developing infrastructure would be necessary to get their vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), and potentially autonomous, flying cars to operate seamlessly. That's down from about one hour and 20 minutes by vehicle, according to CNN. At the time, Moore predicted flying cars in the skies within one to three years.

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