Sunday, 19 August, 2018

NASA, Uber to Explore Safety, Efficiency of Future Urban Airspace

JetBlue says it will fly New York City pizza to people in Los Angeles and deliver it right to your door Jet Blue says it will fly New York City pizza to people in Lo
Elsie Buchanan | 09 May, 2018, 07:53

Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said the technology is similar to a helicopter and has stacked rotors that create lift, CBS News reported.

Uber is releasing new information about Uber Air, an ambitious plan to launch a fleet of autonomous flying taxis in two years.

The Uber Elevate summit announced that NASA has been recruited to handle the urban aircraft technology that would be needed to pull this feat off, and the US Army will reportedly be researching rotor technology.

Uber plans to begin testing in 2020 ahead of a public roll-out in Dallas and Los Angeles by 2023. When Uber hired Mark Moore, a former NASA advanced aviation engineer, to lead Uber Elevate engineering in early 2017, the flying taxi service crossed the line from speculation to a still-undefined but possible future project. At the back of the aircraft, a forward-facing propeller would provide power for horizontal flight.

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It plans airspeeds up to 200 miles per hour and cruising altitudes of 1,000 to 2,000 feet - higher than drones but lower than small aircraft or jetliners.

Uber finds a quieter aircraft is desirable because its eVTOL designs and upcoming Uber Air service are meant to be used in urban areas where noise pollution is a factor. "Finally, point of entry into the eCRMs is limited to one side, simplifying ground crew operations and reducing confusion for riders when they approach their eVTOL vehicle".

But in an interview Tuesday with Cheddar, Goel said the company was proceeding with caution, especially as Uber addresses issues with its ground-level autonomous driving technology. Passengers will sit in the middle of the aircraft and up front, and a pilot will carry the passengers (up to a maximum of four) to their destinations. In DFW, the company is working with Hillwood Properties to build vertical skyports and also has called upon Fort Worth-based Bell to develop the vehicles. The aircraft would operate on Uber's own network.

"These concepts are neutral ground that Uber has put together, so we can share insights with all our partners", Uber's head of vehicle engineering Rob McDonad told Wired.

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