Uber Wants to Develop Flying Taxis by 2020

09 November, 2017, 00:56 | Author: Lorena Waters
  • Uber plans to launch UberAIR in LA in 2020.                  Uber

Jeff Holden, Uber's chief product officer, revealed the plans at the global Web Summit in Lisbon today.

Holden also announced that Los Angeles had been added to the list of test cities with Dallas-Fort Worth and along with Dubai.

UberAir differs from UberChopper, a helicopter service the company has in the past offered during events such as the Coachella music festival, or during summertime for trips between New York City and the Hamptons.

Uber dominates the streets and the company hopes to tackle the sky with flying taxis tested by 2020-and they signed a partnership with NASA to do so. Rather than offering the service as a luxury product (trips to Coachella Valley from Los Angeles cost passengers $4,170 each way), Uber envisions UberAir as a commuter option, with fares comparable to taking an UberX vehicle ride.

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Ride-sharing startup Uber Technologies Inc. and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration have signed an agreement to develop new traffic concepts that will enable a network of flying cars to safely traverse USA cities. The company still needs approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and other regulatory agencies. Uber doesn't think so. It's hoped that the service will be in "heavy use" by the time LA hosts the Olympics in 2028.

And it seems that Uber has been making the moves to ensure it will happen. This newly penned deal with NASA is a big step in that direction, though we're still years away from vehicles like this actually transporting people. With uberAir, there will be an "unprecedented" number of flying aircrafts in cities, he said, and NASA's expertise lies in unmanned aerial systems traffic management that can help come up with answers to controlling air traffic. Earlier this year, Uber hired Nasa veterans Mark Moore and Tom Prevot to run, respectively, its aircraft vehicle design team and its air traffic management software programme.

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. It was finding someone who could develop a business case to build a whole ecosystem supporting flying cars and make the expense of developing the technology worthwhile.



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