Uber partners with NASA to develop flying taxis by 2020

The app-based taxi service said it would begin testing the urban air fleet in Los Angeles

This computer generated image provided by Uber Technologies on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017 shows a flying taxi by Uber. Commuters of the future could get some relief from congested roads if Uber's plans for flying taxis work out. The ride-hailing service has unveiled an artist's impression of the sleek, futuristic machine it hopes to start using for demonstration flights in 2020 and deploy for ride-sharing by 2028. (Uber Technologies via AP)
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Uber has made a deal with NASA to develop software which will launch flying cars in cities across the world.

The app-based taxi service said on Wednesday they had secured the first formal services contract by the US space agency not covering outer space.

Uber said it would begin testing its 366km per/hour electric taxi services across Los Angeles, US in 2020.


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"There is a reality that Uber has grown up a lot as a company," Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden said at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.

"We are now a major company on the world stage and you can't do things the same way where you are a large-scale, global company that you can do when you are a small, scrappy startup."

NASA completed phase one of the flying car process in 2015. The deal with Uber is phase four and is scheduled to begin in 2018.

Uber plans to introduce electric on-demand, urban air taxis, which passengers could summon using their smartphones from 2023.

The technology company has expanded into 600 cities worldwide since its launch in 2011 and is working with aviation bodies across the US and Europe to make the move into the air a reality.

"We are very much embracing the regulatory bodies and starting very early in discussions about this and getting everyone aligned with the vision," Mr Holden added.