NASA and Uber team up for urban airspace modelling project

May 12 16:33 2018

At first, NASA will use Uber’s plans for implementing an urban aviation rideshare network to simulate its impact over the streets of Dallas Fort Worth. “Ultimately, where we want to go is about urban mobility and urban transport, and being a solution for the cities in which we operate”. The company believes that with drone technology advancing and urban transportation not the easiest for travelers to overcome, taking to the air is a reasonable solution.

Uber’s other government partner in the project is NASA – the two entities first signed a Space Act Agreement in November 2017. Uber officials have ambitious plans that include skyports being able to handle 200 takeoffs and landings an hour, or one every 24 seconds, according to CNBC.

The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle prototype unveiled on Tuesday resembles a helicopter with five propellers distributed around the aircraft. These eVTOL differ from helicopters in that they are orders of magnitude quieter, safer, more affordable, and more environmentally friendly. Early iterations will be piloted but eventually, Uber aims to let the aircraft fly autonomously.

The design is built around the passenger compartment, featuring space for up to four passengers with their personal bags or backpacks.

Uber Technologies reopened a contest on Wednesday to select the first global city to launch its proposed flying taxi project, following apparent delays in getting the service off the ground in Dubai, a previously proposed market. Electrification would also make the vehicle much cheaper to run and maintain, but that’s perhaps the biggest problem these vehicles have with becoming reality. Aurora said it is focusing on autonomous technology.

The actual flying vehicles will be developed by Uber engineers in partnerships with established aircraft manufacturers such as Bell, Embraer and Aurora Flight Services. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.

The auto was travelling at 40mph (64km/h) in self-driving mode when it collided with 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg in Arizona in March. This is for safety, company officials explain.

UBER WANTS TO HELP you get away.

This artist’s conception shows the reference model for Uber’s future air taxis

NASA and Uber team up for urban airspace modelling project
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