Uber showcases its flying taxi service concept

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The company plans to produce thousands of short-range, electric-powered aircraft, which it says will be piloted by humans at first, but eventually fly autonomously (The Verge).

Utilizing the knowledge of NASA engineers, Uber claims it can get the program up and running quickly. The NASA will use its years of experience in different areas of air mobility and the Uber will use its colossal engineering, in a joint effort to make this flying concept work.

At its second annual Elevate Summit, Uber announced an open call for the selection of the first worldwide uberAIR launch city.

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At its second annual Elevate conference in Los Angeles, the company revealed its latest electric flying auto concept, which it hopes will lead to a full-blown aerial taxi service by 2023.

The ride-hailing company announced during its two-day Elevate Summit that it's taking applications until Jul. 1 from global cities that want to become an uberAIR launch city.

"We think cities are going to go vertical in terms of transportation and we want to make that a reality", Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told CBS News. To do this, NASA will simulate flights in the Dallas-Fort Worth airspace - Dallas and Los Angeles have both agreed to host initial flying Uber tests. According to the agreement, Uber will share its concept of flying taxi and all the information related to it.

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In the meantime, it's called on NASA to help build realistic simulations of flying taxis during busy air traffic. The company had been working on the concept of flying cars for quite some time. The event - held for the first time in Dallas past year - brings together vehicle manufacturers, regulators, investors, technology suppliers, and federal & local policy makers to explore the future of urban aviation. Uber plans the first demonstration flights for Los Angeles in 2020 and commercialisation of the flying taxis in 2023, saying these could be ordered on demand just like a ridesharing vehicle.

The flying cars will likely be refueled at the thousands of rooftop "skyports" Uber hopes to erect in cities across the U.S. Those skyports will be able to accommodate 200 liftoffs and landings each hour.

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