Uber is turning to the expert for its flying car project: NASA.
The ride hailing service announced Wednesday, Nov. 8, that it signed a deal with NASA to help develop traffic systems for its flying taxi project. The new lineup of flying cars with improved route systems could start testing in new markets as soon as 2020, Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden said at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon Wednesday.
Uber’s “on demand aviation” project, known as UberAIR, was first disclosed in April. The flying taxi project will now come one step closer to becoming a reality with a Space Act Agreement penned by NASA, Uber said.
The tie-in will focus on the development of “unmanned traffic management.” That means Uber’s vertical take-off and landing vehicles will soon have better-managed routes, thanks to NASA. Holden added at the summit that UberAIR will begin testing four-passenger, 200-mile-per-hour flying taxi services in Los Angeles, Dallas and Dubai in 2020.
Uber said it expects a trip on an UberAIR flying taxi in Los Angeles would cost about the same as one taken in an UberX. The service is expected to be properly up and running in L.A. well ahead of 2028, when the city hosts the Olympics.