Uber, US Army to test technology with potential use on flying cars

JetBlue says it will fly New York City pizza to people in Los Angeles and deliver it right to your door

"NASA is excited to be partnering with Uber and others in the community to identify the key challenges facing the UAM market, and explore necessary research, development and testing requirements to address those challenges", said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

At this year's summit, Uber unveiled yet another flying auto concept, this one being a four-passenger vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) fixed-wing aircraft, with vertical rotors fixed to those wings, giving an overall design that's not dissimilar to the quadcopters that have become popular in recent years.

Uber is planning to take to the skies in sleek, all-electric flying drone taxi, the company revealed on Tuesday.

Customers could access the service via a phone app similar to the ground taxi service, Khosrowshahi said.

Eric Allison, the company's head of aviation program, showed a chart indicating that UberAir could conceivably charge $90 for a 29-minute ride between locations that would cost $60 and take 69 minutes using the UberX vehicle service instead.

Uber sees its air taxi system as a means through which urban traffic and long commutes can be alleviated.

The company plans to start tests for an air transportation service, Uber Air, in 2020 in Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Dubai.

"It's actually going to be significantly easier we think, because a lot of the problems that you deal with on the road such as complicated street signs, such as other cars that may not be necessarily cooperative ー we're going to build the system to be autonomous for the future vision from the outset", said Nikhil Goel, head of product and advanced programs at Uber.

Uber is holding a conference on flying vehicles this week in Los Angeles. I shouldn't have to explain the benefits of improved efficiency for a flying electric vehicle; it's a huge factor for battery and recharge cycle management. He said "clean, quiet, safe" vehicles flying through cities will eventually become commonplace.

By using two co-axial rotors spinning in the same direction, this new propeller tech promises to be quieter and more efficient.

"Ambition is what has created this company from the very beginning", Khosrowshahi said. "It's "game over" if we don't", Khosrowshahi replied.



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