Uber has announced the signing of a Space Act Agreement with NASA for the development of unmanned traffic management (UTM) concepts and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to ensure safe and efficient operations of low-altitude UAS.
Uber intends to begin demonstration flights of its aircraft UberAir in selected US cities by 2020. This partnership is intended to contribute to the establishment of an urban aviation ride-share network in due course.
Uber anticipates that its aircraft will use distributed electric propulsion (DEP) with multiple, small rotors, each with its own dedicated electric motor, with the ambition of operating quiet 100% electric VTOLs (vertical take-off and landing) with no emissions or single point of failure.
Uber is working with aircraft, infrastructure and real estate partners to operate on a set of fixed routes between hubs called ‘Skyports’ in each launch city. Current plans are to trial UberAir in Dallas, Texas and Uber has Los Angeles, California, as the second US city.
Uber does not plan to build VTOL aircraft, but plans to use its technology and existing user network to enable customers in the future to push a button and get a high-speed flight in and around cities.
November 16, 2017