Wednesday, 23 May, 2018

NASA and Uber team up for urban airspace modelling project

Uber’s vision from its white paper Uber’s vision from its white paper
Elsie Buchanan | 13 May, 2018, 14:36

In India, Uber is primarily a taxi-hailing business, but globally it has diverse operations that includes Uber Air, which looks at heli-taxi services; Uber Freight, which looks at logistics, and others.

Uber's new design is an update on both the first concept it developed with NASA in November 2017, and the more recent cabin design showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2018.

As part of the deal, Uber will share its data with Nasa to move the world closer to developing air traffic management systems for a world with flying cars. Just this year aircraft manufacturer AirBus shared its drone flying taxi Alpha One, which could elevate up to 5 meters. Dallas Fort Worth and the Los Angeles are considered to be the pioneer cities in having the first flying ride sharing network.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also opened up about the project in an interview with CBS This Morning. A network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically (called VTOL aircraft for Vertical Take-off and Landing, and pronounced vee-tol), will enable rapid, reliable transportation between suburbs and cities and, ultimately, within cities. The air taxis will then fly 1,000 to 2,000 feet off the ground, something Uber says will be possible thanks to the electric motors and multiple props, which make the aircraft quieter than a helicopter. Picture Los Angeles. It's these kinds of metro areas where people face traffic congestion and would pay for a flying taxi to shuttle them above the jammed highways and streets below.

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"Giving time back to people is something we're very passionate about at Uber", Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said in a video about the San Francisco company's plans.

Uber has released more information about its concept fleet of flying taxis the company started talking about a year ago.

The company plans to begin operating demonstrator flights by 2020, and said it intends the service to be ready for on-demand commercial operations by 2023.

One of the main focuses of the UAM project is the development of passenger-carrying aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing, the USA space agency pointed out.

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