Uber planning flying taxis creation together with U.S. Army, NASA. Uber is flying high above its street level ride falling business. The rideshare company detailed its aviation goals at its annual Elevate summit in Los Angeles.
The partnership of Uber with the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, within the Army Research Lab, is focused on researching the tech needed to propel the company’s electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
UberAir wants to fly its vehicles up to 2,000 feet at 150 mph for short-haul flights, going as far as 60 miles on a battery charge. The service plans to fly demos of its four passenger seat planes in Los Angeles and the Dallas area by 2020. And it is ready for commercial use by 2023.
Although the air taxi will initially be controlled, flights will eventually become autonomous. According to the partnership $1 million will be divided. The Army said, “Concept has two rotor systems placed on top of each other and rotating in the same direction.” Apparently this has never been deployed in a flying craft before.
Uber will share information with NASA about creating an “urban aviation rideshare network.” NASA wants to use this data for computer modeling and simulation. This will elaborate the study of how small aircraft like UberAir manage in crowded environments.
Its aim to launch electric flying taxis within the next five years, so it is partnering with the U.S. Army’s research arm and NASA to make it happen.