What Uber Brings to the Flying Car Game

What Uber Brings to the Flying Car Game

Uber will begin testing the concept in 2020 in Los Angeles, as well as in Dallas and Dubai, the company said Wednesday. Similar to helicopters, the eVTOL aircraft would take off and land on the tops of buildings and be able to cover distances more quickly and directly compared to cars stuck in traffic on Los Angeles congested roads.

The price of flight across Los Angeles, with 200-mph speed and VTOL technology, would be "price competitive" with Uber's vehicle service, but much faster, Uber said. "We are very much embracing the regulatory bodies and starting very early in discussions about this and getting everyone aligned with the vision", said Holden. It is reported that NASA is working with other companies to develop low altitude vehicle traffic management - possibly rival air taxi firms and drone / delivery firms.

Uber released a glossily produced promotional video demonstrating what using its aerial taxi service would look like from the perspective of a working mother taking a flight home from work. Uber said it signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA for the development of "unmanned traffic management".

USA Today also reports Uber has inked an agreement with Los Angeles' Sandstone Properties to develop roof-top take-off and landing terminals in the city.

But the federal government's imprimatur, via the deal with Nasa, offers one of the strongest signals yet that flying Uber vehicles are a concrete possibility.

While this partnership might make it sound like Uber is monopolising the industry the simple fact is that it's going to have to work with its rivals to get the project off the ground.

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Earlier this week, driverless auto competitor Waymo - a project of Google's parent company Alphabet - announced that it has launched autonomous vehicles without backup humans on board, the first time that had been done.

"UberAir will be performing far more flights on a daily basis than it has ever been done before".

To hack it aloft, Uber is teaming up with the space agency on a range of projects to prevent catastrophic mid-air above dense urban areas.

Uber says the flying taxis could be running in Los Angeles in time for the 2028 Olympics.

Speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal happened this week, Uber disclosed new details about its plans for a network of on-demand vertical take-off and landing, or VTOL, aircraft.

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