Uber is aiming to begin its flight-enabled taxi service by 2023, proposing how their service will host thousands of the vessels across the rooftops. NASA may have seen the potential of the ride-hailing company's project, so it has partnered with the latter to help simulate flying taxis in urban areas.
Last year, Uber named Dallas and Los Angeles as its first launch cities and is now looking for a third, global metropolis to take part, chief product officer Jeff Holden announced at its annual Elevate Summit in Los Angeles.
NASA has signed a second space act agreement with Uber Technologies, Inc., 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. At the summit today, Uber Head of Elevate Eric Allison shed some light on the cost of uberAIR, Uber's aerial ridesharing service, for consumers. They will be on display at the Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles. News later surfaced that the company wouldn't be renewing its testing permit with California, but according to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, the tests may resume later on this year. Uber has previously said that its flying taxis will fly below 10,000 ft (3,000 m).
Instead of needing a long runway to manage takeoff and landing, they'll take off and land vertically.
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At the most recent conference, Uber also announced an open call for the selection of its first global UberAIR launch city.
All these details are subject to change, but it seems Uber is fully committed to making these flying cars a reality.
Some of those firms appeared alongside Uber at the event with their own concept designs for what the flying taxis could look like.
Uber and the Army's Research, Development and Engineering command expect to spend $1 million to develop and test prototypes for a rotor system that would be used on a vertical take-off for landing vehicles.
Uber added that it plans to start launching demonstrations for flights by 2020 while targeting commercial trips by 2023.