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Uber signs deal with NASA to develop flying taxis by 2020

09 November 2017

Uber will work with the USA 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 also previously toyed with using helicopters in Cape Town in what was more a marketing stunt than feasible city transport solution, but the aircraft Uber intends to use will fly at low altitudes running on electric motors. Because if you're going to have people flying to work, you're gonna need some stoplights in the sky or something.

Uber has moved a step closer in making its ambitious flying vehicle plans a reality by partnering with space agency NASA to provide the technology to make the cars city-friendly by 2020.

A man hails an Uber in London. But on Wednesday Uber announced it would also be running demonstrator flights in Los Angeles in 2020.

The mobile taxi service now tests the laws of physics as it prepares to launch its army of flying taxis in Los Angeles, Dubai and Dallas-Fort Worth by 2023.

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

Uber's plans to have air taxis in every city have leapt off the drawing board after it signed a deal with the United States space agency.

Alex Comisar, Garcetti's press secretary, said discussions with the company operating the technology in the city are in the preliminary stages.

In 2019, the recommendations developed by NASA and its partners will be shared with the Federal Aviation Administration, which will determine how they should be integrated into existing air traffic systems.

The partnership, announced today at WebSummit in Lisbon, is not beyond Uber's personal ambitions either.

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And it seems that Uber has been making the moves to ensure it will happen.

Earlier this year, Uber hired NASA veterans Mark Moore and Tom Prevot to run, respectively, its aircraft vehicle design team and its air traffic management software program, Reuters reported.

While testing will begin in 2020, Uber wants its flying taxi service to be as normal and affordable as ordering an UberX by 2023.

If it all works, the payoff would be a new supply or revenue for the company, and hopefully less stressful rush-hour commutes for consumers. After all, we've been promised flying cars for years.

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Uber signs deal with NASA to develop flying taxis by 2020