Uber Working with NASA to Launch Flying Cab

Uber wants to take to the sky with an uberAIR fleet that will offer users inexpensive low flying cabs.

Known for its worldwide network of driver-owned taxis that carries people and foods to where you want them to be based on a mobile app, Uber plans to create a system of flying cabs that will transport people at a cost comparable to that of UberX.

Using Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft (much like a drone or helicopter) powered by electric propulsion (using stored energy in batteries), the light urban carriers are to be less noisy and much more energy efficient than helicopters.

The company highlights that converting existing infrastructure like building-tops and helicopter launchpads to create “vertiports” (launching pads with charging stations) and “vertistops” (a single launchpad) creates a significant cost advantage over expensive infrastructure like roads, bridges and tunnels.

The company is working in partnership with NASA who are creating an air traffic management framework to present to the Federal Aviation Administration in 2019. The plan will take into consideration the safety and efficiency of such a system as NASA’s Space Act requires.

While still in early phases the first demo model of an uberAIR cab is planned to reach Los Angeles in 2020 and commercial operations to start before 2028. Other partner cities for the testing and rollout of the Uber low-flying air transportation vehicles include Dallas and Dubai.