Uber partners with NASA for flying taxi plan

Uber flying car VTOL

This is not the first time we're hearing of Uber's flying-car plans, or the first time it's leaned on NASA expertise for help in attempting to realize this vision.

As part of the deal, Uber has signed a Space Act Agreement with the government agency to work through creating an air traffic control system for regulating the vehicles.

"UberAir will be performing far more flights over cities on a daily basis than has ever been done before", Holden said.

Uber will work with the U.S. space agency to develop software for managing flying taxi routes, Uber's chief product officer Jeff Holden told the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal on Wednesday night (AEST). Uber has faced endless regulatory and legal battles around the world since it launched its ride-hailing services earlier this decade, including a recent showdown in London, where it is battling to retain its licence after having been stripped of it by city regulators over safety concerns.

Los Angeles and Dallas are the first cities being proposed to host Uber's proposed network of flying taxis, and the company expects them to be in heavy use by the time L.A. hosts the 2028 Olympics.

Flying cars in Los Angeles won't just be something dreamed up by Hollywood movie studios if Uber has its way. Uber head of product Jeff Holden announced the new partnership at a technology conference in Lisbon on Wednesday, CNN reported.

Uber released a video showing how it's all supposed to work.

UberAir differs from UberChopper, a helicopter service the company has in the past offered during events such as the Coachella music festival, or during summertime for trips between New York City and the Hamptons.

LA Mayor Eric Carcetti said in a statement: "LA is the flawless testing ground for this new technology, and I look forward to seeing it grow in the coming years".

Now I'm starting to think that maybe the key missing component all these years wasn't finding someone to build a vehicle that could fly and drive.

Uber has said it envisages using electric, autonomous aircraft for the service with the ability to take off and land vertically, which do not yet exist. Engadget reports that the new service could take an hour and a half LA drive down to under 30 minutes.

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