Uber and NASA together are to develop a software which will manage "flying taxis" in Los Angeles. In its 2016 documents describing the program, Uber said the elevated planes would be able to go from San Francisco's Marina to downtown San Jose in about 15 minutes, a commute that would typically take two hours by auto.
"We want to get cars off the street, too", Prevot said.
For Uber though, flying taxis aren't just a buzzword to throw around, they're potentially the future of transport.
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NASA, which is yet to comment on the partnership, has previously announced it was working with a variety of companies to develop urban air mobility.
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.
The intra-city vehicles have been given a tentative launch date of 2023 and Uber is joining hands with aviation regulators in the United States and Europe to make the dream a reality by the expected date. Dallas-Fort Worth wants to be the first metropolitan area in the U.S. to explore a flying vehicle pilot and Uber has already partnered with Hillwood Properties in the region. On Wednesday, Uber and NASA announced a partnership to combine their two projects, with a goal in mind: to get flying Ubers in the air and safe for passengers in time for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, CNBC reports.
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Uber hopes to have its fly-sharing service in place by the 2020 Olympics, so people from all over the world can delight in watching LA motorists sit as they fly magically from event to event. "Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies", Holden said.
"UberAir will be performing far more flights over cities on a daily basis than has ever been done before".
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But the planned electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLS) "differ from helicopters in that they are orders of magnitude quieter, safer, more affordable, and more environmentally-friendly", the company said, adding that journeys will be priced competitively with a standard Uber trip.