NASA teams up with Uber to produce flying taxis of the future

The two-day conference brings together leaders in the aviation and technology industries as well as government stakeholders that Uber says will help them figure out the safe and right way to deploy uberAIR. NASA will take control of all operational and safety issues related to the implementation of the idea.

Its plan is to have a sky full of small drone-like taxis shuttling customers around cities at far faster speeds than driving - all with the request of a ride in the Uber app.

Uber Air will be partnering with NASA, as well as the US Army, to create the technology needed to launch the world's first autonomous flying taxis, CBS News reports. At the time though, NASA was assigned to come up with air traffic management for a fleet of flying vehicles. Big aerospace companies including Bell, Embraer, Boeing and others are working on prototype designs. Last year, NASA collaborated with Uber on the same project.

What if you requested an Uber but instead of a vehicle, a plane showed up at your doorstep?

The issue of self-driving vehicles is a sensitive one for Uber, due to an accident involving an Uber autonomous auto that killed a pedestrian in Arizona in March.

VAHANA. A sub-scale sized model of Vahana, the self-piloted, eVTOL concept aircraft from A? by Airbus. As per agreement, it presented the flying auto concept.

Once in the air, the eVTOL will switch over to fixed-wing operation with its airplanelike wings providing lift when moving horizontally and a propeller in the tail providing horizontal thrust up to a cruising speed of about 150 miles per hour (with a top speed of 200 mph).

The cruising altitude is 1000-2000 feet above the ground.

The vehicle is 100 percent electric, utilising distributed electric propulsion.

At its research facility at the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, NASA will use the data supplied by Uber to simulate a small passenger-carrying aircraft as it flies through DFW airspace during peak scheduled air traffic. Uber envisions building future sky-ports, majority on existing buildings, that will facilitate air travel throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. The flying taxi will reduce your hour-long commute to work to just a few minutes. But Uber isn't a company lacking in confidence and revealed that Dubai will now join Dallas and LA as the third major city to host demonstration flights of UberAir, as the service will be called, in 2020.

  • Leroy Wright