NASA and Uber Are Working Together to Bring Us Flying Cars
9 months ago
The glitzy future of flying cars is almost here—assuming NASA and Uber can figure out how to work together and develop the technology in the next two years.
Uber announced last year that it would start work on Uber Elevate, an airborne, driverless car service that will give its customers access to “on demand aviation.” Separately, NASA has been trying to crack how to manage airborne traffic when it’s hovering just meters off the ground (and not navigating the solar system), which it could apply to drones and other airborne vehicles. 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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That tight timeline means Uber and NASA want to be testing vehicles by 2020. UberAir—the official name of this endeavor—will be tested in Dallas-Fort Worth, Dubai, and Los Angeles. The vehicles themselves, if all goes according to plan, will be pilot-less, fly at low altitude, and be able to lift off and land vertically. They will save time, and they will make navigating urban areas much easier.
As for pricing, Uber claims hailing a flying cab won’t cost any more than hailing a grounded one. We’ll believe it when see it. After all, we’ve been promised flying cars for years.