November 9, 2017
Uber Partners with NASA to Test Flying Taxis by 2020
Uber announced a year ago that it intends to build a ‘flying taxi’ service called Uber Air. The vehicles will be something of a hybrid between a helicopter and a drone. The unmanned vehicles will be able to take off and land vertically and fly at low altitudes. The company wants to begin testing these by 2020 and hopes to launch the network of flying taxis by 2023. It’s doing this while simultaneously investing in driverless car technology for its next generation ground transportation.
Uber reached an agreement with NASA this week to jointly work on developing air traffic management systems for its flying taxi program. NASA has already partners with other tech companies to develop these systems. For example, it’s likely that the same airspace will be used for Amazon and Dominos drone deliveries as well. Uber expects the price of Uber Air to be similar to that of UberX. Jeff Holden, chief product officer at Uber, said the following:
“UberAir will be performing far more flights on a daily basis than it has ever been done before. Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies.”
Uber wants to begin initial testing in Dubai and Los Angeles by 2020. Is this what the Jetsons looks like in real life? What a time to be alive!
Images Courtesy of Uber