With the rise of a new way to transport human beings, potentially through self-operating flying cars, the industry will need new regulations to ensure safe operation. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported Uber took a step to realize a streamlined future where flying cars operate in sync with other air traffic by signing an agreement with NASA to manage future systems.
Uber previously said it wants to deploy flying taxis by 2020 in Dubai and Dallas, Texas, but it added Los Angeles, California, to the list as well. The ride-sharing company will lean on NASA to oversee futuristic traffic concepts, which will need approval by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before any sort of self-flying taxis take to the sky. Part of the plan includes what Uber called "Skyports." The areas would encompass fixed routes between cities through an "uberAir" service. At the push of a button, Uber flying taxis would shuttle users via the routes in cities and to different cities as well.
The company chose NASA because of its experience in unmanned aerial vehicles and hopes that together, both will find solutions for seamless on-demand air travel. Uber previously expressed interest in building its own flying car called Uber Elevate, based on a Vertical Take-off and Landing copter (VTOL) concept, but new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he wants the company to focus on its core business. If anything, the ride-sharing company hopes it will pioneer the technology to control VTOLs and unmanned aircraft with its NASA partnership.