May 24, 2018

NASA teams up with Uber to produce flying taxis of the future

13 May 2018, 02:38 | Kenneth Drake

This is Uber's first air taxi prototype

Flying Uber Car Revealed

Uber will collaborate by sharing its plans and supplying the space agency with data so that it can assess how best to navigate an aerial taxi service system alongside very contested airspace.

The pact aims to further explore concepts and technologies related to urban air mobility (UAM) to ensure a safe and efficient system for future air transportation in populated areas.

To bring uberAIR to market, Uber plans to partner with three 'launch cities.' This will allow for a balance between focus and city diversity that will set the service up for long-term success.

This could mean that you have a low-speed channel of airspace reserved for hobbyists flying video drones, for example, with a high-speed channel above that for delivery drones and then another for flying taxis.

Uber operations director Jeff Holen says the obstacles to the new transport mode are mostly around regulations of air space, adding: "the technology exists. we can solve this today". In the same way as the now book taxi cars from app.

Uber Technologies said on Tuesday it signed an agreement with USA space agency NASA to explore concepts and technologies needed for passenger and cargo air transportation within an urban area.

"We think cities are going to go vertical in terms of transportation and we want to make that a reality", Dara Khosrowshahi told CBS News. They are looking to work closely with city municipal governments to help realize the vision, and begin a new industry.

Uber hopes to be testing these vehicles by 2020, with rides available for actual passengers in 2023. And to avoid it there is a provision of flying taxis in some parts of the world. Uber had previously announced Dubai as its third launch city but has now reopened the selection process for cities that may be more in need of the service.

But details of the project were overshadowed, as a report revealed that one of Uber's self-driving test vehicle which killed a woman crossing the street had detected her but decided not to react immediately.

Some of those firms appeared alongside Uber at the event with their own concept designs for what the flying taxis could look like.

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