Uber, Nasa working on 'flying taxi' project

LISBON • Uber is taking part in a joint industry and government push with the US space agency to develop software which the company aims to use to manage "flying taxi" routes that could work like ride-hailing services it has popularised on the ground.

Uber said on Wednesday it was the first formal services contract by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (Nasa) covering low-altitude airspace rather than outer space.

Chief product officer Jeff Holden also said Uber would begin testing proposed four-passenger, 322km-per-hour flying taxi services across Los Angeles in 2020, its second planned test market after Dallas or Fort Worth.

Nasa said in a statement it had signed a generic agreement in January with Uber that enables the company to join a variety of industry partners to develop a range of driverless air traffic management systems.

Uber plans to introduce paid, intra-city flying taxi services from 2023 and is working with aviation regulators in the United States and Europe to win approvals, Mr Holden said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2017, with the headline 'Uber, Nasa working on 'flying taxi' project'. Subscribe