Uber, NASA Commercially Launching Flying Taxis In 2023

Ann Santiago
May 13, 2018

World mobile taxi driving service Uber signed a second agreement with NASA in its effort to take its air taxi service project off the ground during the Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles. 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. 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.

Under this agreement, Uber will share its plans for implementing an urban aviation rideshare network. The shuttles will seat four, though they'll have to be autonomously driven for Uber to make a profit; otherwise two of the seats would go towards a pilot and co-pilot.

Goel said the all-electric flyer can achieve speeds over 300km (200 miles) an hour with a range of 100km (60 miles) on a battery charge. KittyHawk, an autonomous flying taxi company backed by Alphabet's Larry Page, unveiled its latest commercial plane called Cora in March and is working with the government of New Zealand to commercialize its air 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".

Flying cars give Uber an opportunity to plan optimistically for the future while its other foray into futuristic vehicles faces significant challenges.

Uber has released more information about its concept fleet of flying taxis the company started talking about past year.

It all looks good, but I am not so confident I will think that when I am 2,000 feet above Rome's traffic.

The recent news tells us that Uber is going to introduce air mobility through the flying taxi.

The ride-hailing company announced during its two-day Elevate Summit that it's taking applications until Jul. 1 from global cities that want to become an uberAIR launch city.

"NASA is excited to be partnering with Uber and others in the community to identify the key challenges facing the UAM market, and explore necessary research, development and testing requirements to address those challenges", said Shin.

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