Uber to launch flying taxis by 2020

09 November, 2017, 01:23 | Author: Delbert Rhodes
  • Uber has struck a deal with NASA to develop software for 'flying taxi' routes in the air by 2020

The ride-sharing firm signed has a deal with NASA to develop an air traffic management system for its aerial taxi service.

It's no secret that Uber has been eyeing this potential future, indicating that it may launch a low-altitude flying taxi service not dissimilar from its road-based transportation.

A man hails an Uber in London.

Today, Holden said Uber is still looking to start testing flying taxi services by 2020, first Los Angeles, and then in the Dallas-Fort Worth area-both of which are home to global airports.

In interviews with the U.S. media overnight, including Bloomberg, Jeff Holden, Uber's chief product officer, confirmed the ride-hailing company had signed an agreement to work with NASA on "unmanned traffic management" systems. By 2023, Uber believes a paid, intra-city flying taxi could be up and running.

He said: "Los Angeles has always been a place where innovators come to build new ideas that can change how we live our lives".

The company's plans may cause some skepticism considering 2020 is only two years away. While all ride hailing services are a bit expensive compared to public transport, Uber's air service is only expected to cost about the same as a ride with UberX.

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Uber expects uberAIR trips from the Los Angeles airport to the Staples Center will take less than 30 minutes during rush hour. Uber doesn't think so.

It hopes the futuristic aircraft will be ready for demonstration flights by 2020.

And it seems that Uber has been making the moves to ensure it will happen.

Uber also announced it has signed an agreement with Sandstone Properties to develop skyport infrastructure to serve as takeoff and landing hubs for uberAIR flights at Sandstone's 20 locations in the greater L.A. area.

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 program, Reuters reported.

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. That's down from about one hour and 20 minutes by vehicle, according to CNN. There's also Volocopter, which successfully tested a flying vehicle in Dubai back in September of this year.

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