Ready to zoom into the future? Uber is partnering with NASA to bring an air taxi service to Los Angeles as soon as 2020.
Uber and NASA to bring flying cars to Los Angeles. Pictured here: Flight path over Dubai, another city Uber plans to target for its flying transportation technology. (Image via TechCrunch)
The battery-powered, four-person electric helicopter would sail above L.A.’s clogged, serpentine road network, logging 60 miles with just one four-minute charge. The project, dubbed Elevate, relies on UTM, NASA’s emerging air traffic control technology.
UTM stands for unmanned traffic management, a way to control low-altitude flights, without orange flag–waving workers.
While this idea may seem far-fetched to outsiders, the project partners are optimistic that the flying cars could be a viable transit option by 2028, just in time for the L.A.’s Olympics hosting duties.
Previously, the company announced it will bring its flying car service to Dallas and Dubai.
According to Forbes, Embraer, Bell Helicopter, and Aurora, a Boeing-owned company, have already signed onto Elevate. Here’s a video from Uber that explains the project, the research behind it, and next steps: