Uber Is Still Trying to Do that Flying Car Thing

UberAIR will cost the same as Uber X at launch                  Uber

Uber dominates the streets and the company hopes to tackle the sky with flying taxis tested by 2020-and they signed a partnership with NASA to do so.

The ride-sharing company is reaching for the sky with its plans for UberAIR.

The four-person flights won't become a reality anytime soon, but the company plans to demonstrate the technology in Los Angeles, Dallas and Dubai in 2020.

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Uber says urban air transportation could reduce the "millions of hours" wasted on roadways every year and would be significantly cheaper than the cost of building and maintaining roads, bridges and tunnels. When the service is in full swing, he anticipates that "tens of thousands" of flights will be performed each day across the city.

Uber's presentation featured a compelling graphic that showed how a ride in an Uber auto from Los Angeles International Airport to the downtown Staples Center would typically take around an hour and 20 minutes, even though it's only a 16-mile trek. That will allow their flying cars to take off and land vertically. "Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies".

In a statement to Reuters, NASA said Uber signed an agreement in January to work with the space agency and various industry partners on driverless air traffic management systems.

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Uber is working with NASA to develop software for managing low-altitude air taxis, potentially opening the door for a future where people can travel short distances in the air rather than on the ground.

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

According to Kimberly Harris-Ferrante and Michael Ramsey, analysts at Gartner: "Flying autonomous vehicle technology is developing rapidly, but it's likely to be more disruptive than transformational". 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.

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