Uber is to work with NASA to build flying auto software

Uber is to work with NASA to build flying auto software

Uber is to work with NASA to build flying auto software

"This collaboration makes a ton of sense in order to bring this to market as fast as possible", Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Holden also announced that Los Angeles had been added to the list of test cities with Dallas-Fort Worth and along with Dubai.

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

The company also announced that it will launch its flying vehicle service UberAIR in Los Angeles in 2020 - just a year later than Blade Runner predicted.

The Space Act agreement, which has been used by Nasa to contract out the development of rockets since the late 1950s, will see Uber participate in a project to develop unmanned traffic management systems as well as the low-altitude drones that will be governed by it.

The company's plans may cause some skepticism considering 2020 is only two years away.

Uber first revealed its plan to introduce its ride-sharing to the skies previous year but, The Verge noted, still faces major obstacles.

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First, electric vehicles that perform as the company hopes just don't exist.

It hopes the futuristic aircraft will be ready for demonstration flights by 2020.

Such hurdles include the need for approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration for operation outside normal aircraft corridors, which will be hard to obtain due to stringent safety and regulation requirements.

Uber noted it does not plan to make the cars themselves, but will instead partner with multiple manufacturers for prototype vertical takeoff and lander vehicles. "By the time the Olympics come in 2028, we believe Los Angeles residents will be making heavy use of uberAIR, showcasing one of the most advanced urban transportation systems in the world, and because uberAIR is all-electric from day one, it will have a net positive impact on the environment", concluded Holden.

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.

Uber expects uberAIR trips from the Los Angeles airport to the Staples Center will take less than 30 minutes during rush hour. "But it's hard to imagine the flying auto becoming a scalable solution".

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