Economy

Uber partners with NASA for flying taxi initiative

Uber partners with NASA for flying taxi initiative”

On the new Space Act Agreement with Nasa, Holden said: "This Space Act Agreement paves the way forward for Uber to collaborate with Nasa on the development of next-generation airspace management technology". NASA has used such contracts to develop rockets since the late 1950s.

Uber hopes it will eventually become a form of mass transport and cost commuters less than using their own vehicle, though initially it will be more expensive than that, Uber's Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said.

The ride-hailing service unveiled Wednesday an artist's impression of the sleek, futuristic machine it hopes to start using for demonstration flights in 2020. It was presented at an global technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

"There is a reality that Uber has grown up a lot as a company", Holden said in an interview ahead of his speech.

Uber is turning to a safe pair of hands to develop its flying auto software in the form of NASA with plans to test flying taxis by 2020.

Uber Elevate complete Phase One in 2015 after field testing at a Federal Aviation Administration site, followed by the second phase that considered long-distance usage over sparingly populated regions.

Phase Three takes place in 2018 over moderately population ground, and phase four is planned to begin over urban areas in 2019.

Uber will not build the vehicles itself and is working with developers to install landing pads atop skyscrapers.

Deloitte's Pascal Pincemin said at the Paris Air Show flying taxis will not be commonplace until 2050, as their reliability will need to be established first.

According to The Guardian, Uber has ambitious plans to have its first prototype taxis flying at speeds of more than 300kph over the skies of Los Angeles and Dallas by 2020.

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 programme.

The agreement with NASA aims to solve issues involved in operating hundreds or even thousands of driverless aircraft over urban areas and allow them to co-exist with existing air traffic control systems as well as in and around busy airports.

The vehicle is somewhere between a helicopter or small airplane.



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