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Uber and NASA to Focus on Passenger Drone Traffic Management

10 May 2018

While it might be too early to think about all that considering the stage Uber is in the development of its flying taxis, the publication is still excited to see what transportation will be like in a few years with this project fully realized. The company is utilising the drone technology to the maximum, and the urban transportation will soon take it to the air.

The agreement between NASA and Uber took place in Los Angeles.

According to the agreement, NASA will use its research facility at the Dallas Fort Worth airport to analyze the operations of the eVTOL system proposed by Uber. After this, NASA will take the results and identify the key issues these added aircraft to crowded airspace would pose.

But details of the project were overshadowed, as a report revealed that one of Uber's self-driving test auto which killed a woman crossing the street had detected her but decided not to react immediately.

The models in LA offer a glimpse at the helicopter-like craft that will lift off using a series of rotors. The aircraft will run on electricity, rather than fuel, so it will be quieter, more efficient and less expensive than a traditional helicopter. The flying cars are expected to conduct vertical takeoffs and landings from skyports, air stations on rooftops or the ground.

For a 50-mile trip, Goel estimates the cost to be about $150.

As ridership increases, the firm plans to make it more affordable, with an ultimate goal of achieving costs of about $1.84 per mile. Uber announced that it will be partnering with a number of vehicle makers including Embraer, Pipistrel, and Karem.

Eric Allison, who heads Uber's Aviation programs, said the flying vehicles are part of an overall strategy allowing people to do without personal cars.

"The eCRM design is pedestrian friendly, as the propeller blades are as high as possible, leaving ample room for individuals to board and de-plane without having to duck", Uber said on Tuesday in a statement.

Passengers would open the Uber app to order a ride, just as they do now, but there will be an option for UberAir.

The ultimate efficiency in this system is really unlocked as a result of our Skyport Network, which as we've discussed today, is intentionally sighted to maximize rider convenience'.

The company wishes to demonstrate that flying taxis can help relieve urban congestion, and seeks to develop electric, on-demand flying taxis capable of a vertical take-off, similar to drones. It hopes to launch a commercial aircraft in 2020.

Uber and NASA to Focus on Passenger Drone Traffic Management