Uber unveils flying taxi prototype ahead of annual Elevate Summit

JetBlue says it will fly New York City pizza to people in Los Angeles and deliver it right to your door

Uber today has given the first look at design models for its new air taxi, which it hopes to fly by 2020.

The involvement of at least one large local real estate partner and a city government willing to provide streamlined building permitting, as well as zoning processes for Uber's "Skyports", the designated drop off and pickup points for its flying taxis.

The partnership was announced this week at the Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles, a two-day event showcasing flying auto technology.

To this end, the agency is leveraging ongoing aeronautics research in areas including Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) traffic management at low altitude; UAS integration in the National Airspace System; all-electric, general aviation class aircraft development; vertical take-off and landing aircraft; system-wide safety; and more.

Uber believes the proposed vehicles would need only five minutes to top up the battery and travel 60 miles on a single charge at speeds between 150 and 200 miles an hour up to 2,000 feet above the ground.

To further make the service affordable to regular clients, Uber is implementing a ridesharing mechanism that would accommodate up to four passengers.

"Ambition is what has created this company from the very beginning", Khosrowshahi said.

"We'll take short-term losses in order to build the company", he said.

NASA, the agency that put a man on the moon and inspired a generation with dreams of space exploration, is going to help Uber test flying cars for the obscenely rich in Dallas. This is a big step forward from their previous agreement, which merely stated that the two intend to work together on the project, notes Sputnik News, citing the Verge.

"For me the aha moment came when I started understanding that Uber isn't just about cars", Khosrowshahi said.

Founder Abe Karem, a pioneer in drone technology, said this particular project is challenging, because "almost everything is wrong in helicopters for what you have to do". What kind of changes may take place between March and the relaunch date is unclear, however the CEO said the return would "be in as safe of a way as possible".

The partnership between Uber and the Army is the latest in a series of joint ventures between the Department of Defense and the technology industry.

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