Uber has made no secret of its intention to introduce flying taxis. It has already talked about this project in detail. The project is called Elevate and envisions flying taxis taking passengers wherever they need to go. Uber has now confirmed that it’s working with NASA to develop software for managing the routes for its flying taxis in the air.
Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden mentioned that this is the first formal services contract by NASA that covers low-altitude airspace instead of outer space.
He also revealed that Uber is going to start testing four-passenger flying taxis that can zoom past at 200 miles per hour in Los Angeles by 2020. L.A. is going to be the company’s second test market for flying taxis after Dallas.
NASA will essentially be creating an air traffic control system for the company which will enable it to manage the entire flying taxi fleet. Uber is predicting that this service will be very efficient. It estimates that a journey from LAX to the Staples Center that currently takes about an hour and a half could be reduced to just under 30 minutes with flying taxis.
Whether or not Uber is going to meet its deadlines is another matter entirely. Signing up NASA as a partner at least shows that it’s very serious about this project.