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NASA has signed an agreement with Uber to help develop an air-traffic-control system for the flying-car project. The project will go by the name Uber Elevate or UberAir. Earlier this year, Uber hired longtime NASA engineer Mark Moore to help develop the Elevate initiative. Uber will not build the body of the aircraft but will manage the network and is working with Nasa engineers to develop the software.
Uber Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said in a statement provided to USA Today that:
“UberAir will be performing far more flights over cities on a daily basis than has ever been done before. Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace-management technologies.”
Uber said it hopes to begin flying its aerial taxis — basically, small planes with wing-mounted propellers that will take off and land vertically, on the roofs of buildings — by 2020. Holden said that he aimed to launch the service across Europe to help with congestion. The company has announced three cities as the sites of this early push: Los Angeles, Dallas and Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.