A leading thought among those dialing up an Uber in times of great distress (i.e. times of great drunkenness) is, "This service is cool and all, but why can't I just fly up out of here like The Fifth Element?" If Uber has anything to do with it, that will one day be a reasonable request.
The app-based transportation company has hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to join its flying car initiative Uber Elevate, Bloomberg reported Sunday. "I can't think of another company in a stronger position to be the leader for this new ecosystem and make the urban electric VTOL market real," Moore said. For those not well-versed on cool shit, VTOL is shorthand for "vertical takeoff and landing."
Moore consulted on Uber's October 2016 white paper Fast-Forwarding to a Future of On-Demand Urban Air Transportation, which outlined the company's vision for a future of "vertiports" in every neighborhood. Ranges for these "air taxis" would likely be between 50 and 100 miles, with Moore predicting partial recharging could be possible during the boarding process.
Though we're still likely years away from being able to easily order a flying car, the company's passion for VTOL development is encouraging. News of Moore's hire comes just days after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down from Trump's advisory council following the massive #DeleteUber protest. In a letter to employees obtained by Recode, Kalanick insisted his position was never meant as an "endorsement" of Trump's policies. "There are many ways we will continue to advocate for just change on immigration but staying on the council was going to get in the way of that," Kalanick said.
Right on. Let's fly.