NASA is working with Uber on its flying taxi project: The tests will start in Los Angeles in 2020

By:   Fedora Atjeh Fedora Atjeh   |   11/09/2017 08:55:00 PM
NASA is working with Uber on its flying taxi project
NASA is working with Uber on its flying taxi project
Many thought it was a joke or would be impossible to carry out, but today Uber is showing that it is serious with its air taxi service and does so with the collaboration of NASA, with what they seek to give certainty to this important project.

We already knew that Uber was looking for a way to take their transport service to the air, even at the beginning they talked about "flying cars" with the support of Airbus. Well, Airbus decided to go by its side with its ambitious CityAirbus and now Uber has found a new partner in NASA, which they say will allow them to start testing in 2020 within the city of Los Angeles, as had been anticipated in April this year. year.

In addition to Los Angeles, Uber aims to bring its new UberAIR service to the city of Dallas, Texas, as they are perfect regions with the largest number of traffic jams in the United States. It is possible to discard that for the beginning of this project Uber will count on the support of companies like Embraer, Bell Helicopter, Pipistrel, Aurora Flight Sciences and Mooney Aviation, who will be in charge of supplying the aircraft and the pilots, while Uber will only put the software and a commission will be taken for each trip.

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Here NASA will be responsible for developing a new air traffic management system, which will allow control of all aircraft while they are in the air and at the take-off centers. In this first stage, all aircraft will be electric and will be available for short trips, so they must guarantee sufficient autonomy to transport people.

While all this is happening, Uber will continue investing in the development of its own electric aircraft and will also be autonomous, with which they will seek to replace the current aircraft piloted by humans. That is to say, the same strategy that we are seeing on the ground with its autonomous cars, where we first met the service platform and later it is expected to be operated by cars without a driver.

Uber is also working with real estate developer Sandstone Properties, who will be in charge of building the take-off and landing centers, which are expected to be available initially at the Los Angeles airport in downtown Santa Monica. and Sherman Oaks.

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The company states that UberAIR will be completely different from UberChopper, since the latter was created as a luxury service with helicopters where prices exceeded thousands of dollars. UberAIR aims to be a kind of UberX, where the idea is to have a service that covers the vicinity with affordable rates for anyone.

Uber already has the support of the government of Los Angeles and now only lack the certificate of operation of the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), who has classified this project as "commercial aircraft service" so they require Uber at least two years of tests. After this they will have to deliver documents specifying the security measures of the aircraft and the details about the reliability of the batteries. Once everything is ready and approved, they will be given the service license and can start with the public service, something they estimate will happen in 2023.

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