Uber’s flying-car program gets a lift from NASA

Boarding an Uber air taxi
An illustrative video clip shows a passenger preparing to board an Uber air taxi. (Uber via YouTube)

Thanks to a lift from NASA, Uber says it’ll be testing its flying-car prototypes in Los Angeles as well as Dubai and Dallas-Fort Worth in 2020.

The UberAir transport system will take advantage of the unmanned aerial vehicle traffic management system, or UTM, which is being developed by NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and other partners.

Uber and NASA have signed a Space Act Agreement to formalize their partnership, Jeff Holden, Uber Technologies’ chief product officer, said today at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

“We need a foundational reboot of the airspace system,” Holden said. “With NASA’s cooperation, we’ll work with the FAA, airports, we’ll be able to actually introduce this quickly and grow it into a completely new, very autonomous air transport system.”

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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