Uber reaches for the skies with plan for sleek flying taxi

NASA is working with Uber on its flying taxi project

Uber adds LA to flying taxi test cities, demo flights slated for 2020

At the Web Summit in Lisbon, the company announced that they would start testing flying taxis in Los Angeles by 2020.

Uber on Wednesday unveiled a partnership with NASA that will see it develop flying taxis priced competitively with standard Uber journeys.

An UberAir journey between Los Angeles' airport and the Staples Center arena, for example, would take 27 minutes - three times less time than the same journey by auto. Holden said it would not "just be a luxury for the rich", adding: "We would not want to build this if it wasn't for everyone; wiith Nasa's co-operation we will be able to introduce this very quickly". The agreement will ensure the safe and efficient operations of its taxis and other small unmanned aerial systems flying at low altitudes.

Uber's flying taxi service is expected to really pick up starting in 2023, when the company begins offering paid flights within cities. The project will first be tested in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, followed by Los Angeles and, on a global scale, Dubai.

The plan faces plenty of challenges, including certification of the new vehicle by authorities, pilot training and conceiving urban air traffic management systems.

Uber said today it's intending LA to be its second United States trial location, having previously named Dallas as a test city.

Uber's partnership with NASA marks their first joint venture with a government entity, according to CNBC. Uber will need to come up with an appropriate way for its flying cars to co-exist with existing helicopter, plane and drone traffic. The nation's ride-sharing giant wants to begin test flights of a prototype flying vehicle in Los Angeles in 2020 and hopes to put it into commercial service by 2028.

Uber hopes to have its fly-sharing service in place by the 2020 Olympics, so people from all over the world can delight in watching LA motorists sit as they fly magically from event to event.

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

Uber plans to make vertical take-off and landing vehicles, which will allow their flying cars to take off and land vertically. "Like literally pushing a button and getting a flight becomes cheaper than driving your own auto, seriously", said Jeff Holden the Chief Product Officer for Uber.

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