At the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon, Portugal, Uber announced that it has signed a deal with NASA in order to develop traffic systems for its flying car project that it hopes to finally get off the ground in 2020. The signing of the Space Act Agreement with NASA will allow the two companies to work together to build an unmanned traffic management system that will allow unmanned aerial systems to safely navigate at a low altitude.
Jeff Holden, chief product officer at Uber, said:
“UberAir will be performing far more flights on a daily basis than has ever been done before. Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies. Combining Uber’s software engineering expertise with NASA’s decades of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward for Uber Elevate.”
Uber is hoping to trial the project in the vehicle-dense city of Los Angeles in 2020 in addition to the previously announced routes in Dubai and Dallas. For those of you wondering whether this will cost an arm and a leg to ride, it’s actually not expected to cost too much. While all ride hailing services are a bit expensive compared to public transport, Uber’s air service is only expected to cost about the same as a ride with UberX.