Noted online taxi-service provider Uber has signed a deal with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop traffic systems for its flying taxi project.
Uber and NASA together are to develop a software which will manage “flying taxis” in Los Angeles. The company is aiming to run the trials in Los Angeles, Dubai and Dallas-Fort Worth in 2020.
Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden confirming the development said, “ Uber would begin testing proposed four-passenger air-taxi services across Los Angeles in 2020. The air-taxi will fly at a speed of 200-miles-per-hour (322-km-per-hour).”
Heldon added, “UberAir will be performing far more flights on a daily basis than it has ever been done before. Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies."
The global transportation technology company on Wednesday announced that the deal was the first formal services contract by NASA covering low-altitude airspace. NASA earlier had made such contracts with private players to develop rockets in the last 1950s.
NASA in a statement said that it had signed a generic agreement with Uber that enables the company to develop a range of driverless air traffic management systems. The deal calls for Uber to be involved during the phase 4 of the driverless air-taxi. The global transportation technology company will join the project from March 2019.
According to NASA, Phase 1 which involved field tests and ongoing testing at US Federal Aviation Administration site for drones used in agriculture, fire-fighting and pipeline monitoring. Phase 2 was completed in 2016 which included long distance uses in sparsely populated regions and Phase 3 involves test services over moderately populated areas in 2018.
Uber plans to make vertical take-off and landing vehicles, which will allow their flying cars to take off and land vertically. The company is planning to start intra city air-taxi services by 2023.