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09 November 2017, 01:21 | Ruben Fields
NASA is working with Uber on its flying taxi project
Uber signed a deal with NASA Wednesday to help develop traffic systems for its flying auto project which it hopes to start testing in 2020.
It's no secret that Uberhas been eyeing this potential future, indicating that it may launch a low-altitude flying taxi service not dissimilar from its road-based transportation. Because if you're going to have people flying to work, you're gonna need some stoplights in the sky or something.
Unveiling an artist's impression of the sleek, futuristic electric aircraft at a technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal, the ride-hailing app announced it had struck a deal with NASA to develop new air traffic control software that could help it manage the thousands of aircraft flying over cities.
A man hails an Uber in London. Uber is also hoping to have commercial operations ready in time for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
In addition, Uber is planning to test a flying taxi service of some sort in Los Angeles in a couple years, introducing an alternative to both traditional air and ground travel. "Combining Uber's software engineering expertise with Nasa's decades of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward", Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said.
The ride-sharing company is reaching for the sky with its plans for UberAIR.
Uber contends its analysis estimates that an all-electric, 200 miles per hour ride across the skies of Los Angeles will be price-competitive with an uberX trip of the same distance. Now Los Angeles will also be added to the roster. And the Federal Aviation Administration must ensure that the aircraft meet safety regulations, not to mention how they'll fare alongside other aircraft.
But some experts don't think Uber is being overly ambitious.
And it seems that Uber has been making the moves to ensure it will happen.
That tight timeline means Uber and NASA want to be testing vehicles by 2020.
If it all works, the payoff would be a new supply or revenue for the company, and hopefully less stressful rush-hour commutes for consumers.
The idea of flying cars isn't new, of course, but has been very slow to catch on - much slower than past generations had imagined.
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