Uber has inched a step closer to bringing its plan to launch flying taxis to fruition, by partnering with space agency NASA.
The ride-sharing giant said it will work with NASA to develop a standalone air traffic management system for an unmanned ‘flying car’ network which is dubbed ‘Elevate.’
It also announced Los Angeles as the next city for the four-seat drone like vehicles.
Testing in LA will begin in 2020, Uber said.
“L.A. is a model city for this in that it’s highly congested from a traffic perspective, and there’s not a great mass transit relief on the horizon,” said Jeff Holden, Uber chief product officer.
“We’re trying to work with cities in the early days who are interested in partnering to make it happen, while knowing that there will be pitfalls along the way.”
By 2028 Uber expects LA commuters will make ‘heavy use’ of the UberAir service with ‘tens of thousands’ of flights daily.
Although no discussions have taken place over the environmental impact or zoning issues, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti has said the city is the ‘perfect testing ground for this new technology.’
The flying taxis will be electric powered and initially piloted although the dream is to develop a safe autonomous service.
Dallas and Dubai have already been announced as locations for the first test flights.