Tuesday's Uber Elevate Summit has unveiled the rideshare company's latest plans to venture into the untapped world of air taxis.
Uber Air will be partnering with NASA, as well as the US Army, to create the technology needed to launch the world's first autonomous flying taxis, CBS News reports. Uber's previously reported on plans would be revolutionary in terms of transportation and urban development, and the company's CEO thinks that going vertical is the way of the future.
"We want to create the network around those vehicles so that regular people can take these taxis in the air for longer distances when they want to avoid traffic at affordable prices," says Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO.
While Uber has grand expectations of launching test flights of the proposed Uber Air service as early as 2020, they must first enlist help from outside entities to, you know, actually design, finance, and build these flying cars. Dallas and Los Angeles will reportedly be the first two cities Uber Air will operate in.
The Uber Elevate summit announced that NASA has been recruited to handle the urban aircraft technology that would be needed to pull this feat off, and the US Army will reportedly be researching rotor technology.
Uber also unveiled some very impressive-looking conceptual images of what these VTOL ports could look like.
For now, the concept of an autonomous flying rideshare service may still mainly exist within the realm of science fiction, but who knows, with backing from serious minds at NASA and funding from Uber, we could be closer to a world reminiscent of The Fifth Element than we think.