Once the realm of sci-fi movies, flying cars are the norm in fantastical futuristic cities as ground pollution and traffic gridlock force populations to move higher into the sky to find cleaner air and less congestion.
Now it seems the future is almost here. Uber has announced a partnership with NASA to assist in the development of unmanned low-altitude air traffic management systems for its flying taxi initiative, while adding traffic-clogged Los Angeles to its test cities for its UberAir flying taxi car demos by 2020, according to CNN. The tech company announced Dallas and Dubai would be part of the test program last April.
At the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, Wednesday, Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden said plans for the four-person ridesharing flights are still years away, but a partner like NASA would help develop “safe and efficient operations” for flights at low altitudes, CNN reported.
"These are exactly the kind of partners we need to make UberAIR a reality," Holden said.
“UberAIR will be performing far more flights on a daily basis than it has ever done before. Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies,” Holden said, according to Tech Crunch.
“Combining Uber’s software engineering expertise with NASA’s decades of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward for Uber Elevate.”
NASA is already working with other companies to develop aerial traffic systems for drones, for example.
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