Uber & NASA Team Up To Build Flying Taxis

The announcement of NASA's involvement occurred at Uber's latest Elevate summit, where Uber revealed concept images of what their flying vehicles could look like. Uber's flying cars, or more accurately vertical take-off and landing (VTOL or eVTOL if electric) aircrafts, are at the center of this system. Picture Los Angeles. It's these kinds of metro areas where people face traffic congestion and would pay for a flying taxi to shuttle them above the jammed highways and streets below. Those propellers are positioned on wings that are located far above the passenger bay, so riders don't have to duck the blades when they get in and out.

The vehicles will make up the "world's first urban aviation rideshare network", which Uber said will be fully operational by 2023.

Uber first proposed their flying taxi concept - dubbed UberAIR - back in 2016, and it's a project the company is passionate about.

Uber believes the proposed vehicles would need only five minutes to top up the battery and travel 60 miles on a single charge at speeds between 150 and 200 miles an hour up to 2,000 feet above the ground.

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Uber has been working on a flying auto concept for quite some time.

NASA has been working with other agencies, industry and organizations to test technologies that can help drones navigate safely beyond visual-line-of-sight.

Uber expects the airborne taxi service will cost the same as an Uber Black over the same distance but once the service has enough passengers, it will decrease to UberX rates for the same trip. According to the agreement, Uber will share its concept of flying taxi and all the information related to it. A year ago it showed off a functioning model of what could become an Uber Elevate aircraft, with the agreement calling for 50 of them to be supplied to Uber by 2020.

Uber has shown off new concept designs for the flying taxis it hopes to one day bring to the skies above cities. The event - held for the first time in Dallas previous year - brings together vehicle manufacturers, regulators, investors, technology suppliers, and federal & local policy makers to explore the future of urban aviation.

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