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Uber and NASA to Bring Flying Cars to Los Angeles

10 November 2017

Uber also announced that Los Angeles will be the second US city where it will test its UberAIR service.

Uber and NASA together are to develop a software which will manage "flying taxis" in Los Angeles.

The company predicted that a one-and-a-half hour auto journey from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to the Lakers' home court Staples Centre could take less than 30 minutes using a combination of flying cars and regular cars.

"We want to get cars off the street, too", Prevot said.

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Uber likes to call them "unmanned aerial systems", or UAS. Uber is already collaborating with NASA on an existing project that could lead to a "next-generation air traffic control system", but the details and timeline of that project, as well as if state and federal officials will adopt the recommendations, are still big, open questions.

Uber says it will make flying taxis a reality in three years, and its smartphone app can then be used to book a ride on the small, helicopter-like vehicles, flying between "sky ports". In February, Bloomberg reported that two former NASA employees, Mark Moore and Tom Prevot, joined Uber to work on aircraft design and traffic management software.

Uber's partnership with NASA marks their first joint venture with a government entity, according to CNBC.

"To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3-D, which means either flying cars or tunnels".

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Holden said he expects Uber will have its first flight demonstrations in 2020 and have the service commercially available by 2023. They'll be fully electric and will fly via tiltable rotors, imagine giant versions of today's RC drones, except they can get up to 322km/h and carry people.

Uber's chief product officer Jeff Holden has been making some bold claims.

The idea is to build a network of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that would greatly reduce commutes, while also helping to ease vehicle pollution in major cities.

In his statement this week he added that, "UberAir will be performing far more flights over cities on a daily basis than has ever been done before".

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Earlier this year, Uber contacted authorities in Dubai and the Dallas-Fort Worth area in order to test its flying taxis in those regions. So, why, exactly, in this futuristic concept of what life with working VTOLs is like, did Uber shoot this scene?

Uber and NASA to Bring Flying Cars to Los Angeles