Uber is to work with NASA to build flying vehicle software


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. And in this case, it's working hard to stay on regulators' good side. So it's encouraging to hear that Uber is going to connect its obvious business strengths with NASA's effort to create a framework for managing and overseeing traffic of low altitude flyers. NASA has used such contracts to develop rockets since the late 1950s.

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. Holden made the announcement at Web Summit, a technology conference in Lisbon. "Uber wouldn't even build something like this if it wasn't for everyone", said Holden. "We are now a major company on the world stage and you can't do things the same way where you are a large-scale, global company that you can do when you are a small, scrappy startup".

The ride-hailing firm first unveiled its ambitious plans for a flying-car project a year ago, as part of Uber's effort to transform the transportation industry.

According to Kimberly Harris-Ferrante and Michael Ramsey, analysts at Gartner: "Flying autonomous vehicle technology is developing rapidly, but it's likely to be more disruptive than transformational".

Share this article: The logo of the ride-sharing company Uber. 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.

NASA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the project.

NASA has said previously it is working with a variety of companies to develop technologies for what it calls "urban air mobility". Proposed take-off and landing zones equipped with aircraft charging stations have not yet been built. Alongside the announcement, Uber also published a marketing video showing out its vision for the flying taxi service.

Aviation manufacturers such as Embraer, Bell Helicopter, Pipistrel, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Mooney Aviation will supply and pilot the aircraft.