Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

NASA is working with Uber on its flying taxi project

A man exits the Uber offices in Queens New York U.S A man exits the Uber offices in Queens New York U.S
Derrick Tucker | 09 November, 2017, 01:21

The goal is to have a network of on-demand, electric aircraft that can take off and land vertically within a decade.

The company has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA and will work with the space agency to manage its air traffic.

The Uber Elevate plans were also detailed in a video showing a customer travelling by elevator to the Uber Skyport on the roof of her office skyscraper, where her flying cab awaits.

The taxis will fly at about 200 miles per hour, according to Reuters.

No word on whether Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is under consideration as a name for the flying cars.

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. According to Uber, the company is the first to nab a formal service contract covering the low-altitude domain.

Not factoring in pick up times, the flight across LA could take as little as four minutes, Uber said.

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Speaking of the collaboration, Uber's head of Product Jeff Holden said, "Technology will allow LA residents to literally fly over the city's historically bad traffic, giving them time back to use in far more productive ways". Uber is also hoping to have commercial operations ready in time for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. The company says it's working with Sanstone Properties to build Uber skyports.

The ride-hailing firm doesn't plan on building the planes itself. "I think 2020 is realistic for a vehicle that is not replacing an airplane but replacing a auto", Richard Pat Anderson, director of the Flight Research Center at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, told Wired at the time.

The scheme still faces plenty of challenges, though, including certification of the new vehicle by authorities, pilot training and conceiving urban air traffic management systems. "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.

The ride-sharing company is reaching for the sky with its plans for UberAIR.

"High costs, safety concerns and regulatory burdens are likely to limit the use of this overhyped technology".

The firm it said on Wednesday it was confident of achieving regulatory approval for its air service in the USA and Europe.

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