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Uber adds LA to flying taxi test cities, demo flights slated for 2020



 
 
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Old November 9th 17, 03:58 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default Uber adds LA to flying taxi test cities, demo flights slated for 2020

https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/08/ub...-for-2020/amp/

Uber adds LA to flying taxi test cities, demo flights slated for 2020
BY NATASHA LOMAS November 8, 2017

Uber has inked a partnership with NASA over its flying taxi plans and
says now it’s aiming to get demo flights up and running in Los Angeles
by 2020.

Specifically it’s signed an agreement to work with the federal
government agency over the development of unmanned traffic management
at a low altitude. Which makes a change from being investigated by
federal agencies.
https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/15/ub...andling-probe/

As CNBC notes, NASA is already working with several other companies to
develop traffic management for low altitude vehicles, including for
drones.

“UberAir will be performing far more flights on a daily basis than it
has ever been done before. Doing this safely and efficiently is going
to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies,”
said Uber chief product officer Jeff Holden in a statement. “Combining
Uber’s software engineering expertise with NASA’s decades of airspace
experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward for Uber Elevate.”

USA Today also reports Uber has inked an agreement with Los Angeles’
Sandstone Properties to develop roof-top take-off and landing
terminals in the city.

Uber said today it’s intending LA to be its second US trial location,
having previously named Dallas as a test city. It says its goal is to
have a flying taxi service up and running in Los Angeles before the
2028 Olympics — and has also released a concept video showing an Uber
user getting an elevator to a ‘skyport’ and then taking a flying taxi
across the city.

The company is not intending to build any flying taxis itself but has
previously announced partnerships with five aircraft manufacturers to
lead the development and manufacturing of the necessary VTOL (vertical
take-off and landing) aircraft.

Back in February Uber also hired NASA engineer Mark Moore, who worked
at the federal agency as an advanced aircraft engineer to work on its
flying taxi project. But obviously lots of barriers remain to actually
launching a commercial service — not least safety considerations of
operating such a service over densely populated urban centers.

The on-demand ride-hailing giant revealed its ambition to get build
on-demand aviation last year, outing a fancy website and dubbing the
project Uber Elevate — albeit that phasing does now kinda sound like a
last-ditch rebranding operation, given how many knocks the company’s
reputation has taken in recent times.

And essentially that’s the primary function of Uber’s PR noise around
this now: Strategic proximity to a rather shinier brand (NASA!), plus
the uplifting prospect of rising above it all vs having your band name
dragged through the mud as Uber currently is thanks to a series of
legacy operational scandals.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/08/uber...ing-taxis.html

NASA is working with Uber on its flying taxi project

VIDEO: https://www.cnbc.com/5108adff-000d-4...0-4b6cf20de4b6

Uber partnered with NASA on it its flying taxi project called Uber
Elevate

Uber will be working with NASA to figure out traffic management for
flying cars

Uber also said that it is aiming to trial the flying taxis in Los
Angeles, as well as Dubai and Dallas-Fort Worth in 2020

Arjun Kharpal
Published 5:47 AM ET Wed, 8 Nov 2017 Updated 20 Hours Ago

ber signed a deal with NASA Wednesday to help develop traffic systems
for its flying car project which it hopes to start testing in 2020.

The ride-hailing service published details of its "on demand aviation"
ambitions last year which it has called Uber Elevate.

It is now stepping up its efforts to make the project a reality. Uber
said at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon that it signed a
Space Act Agreement with NASA for the development of "unmanned traffic
management." This is NASA's push to figure out how unmanned aerial
systems (UAS), such as drones that fly at a low altitude, can operate
safely.

Uber wants to make vertical take-off and landing vehicles. That will
allow their flying cars to take off and land vertically. They will fly
at a low altitude.

This is the start-up's first partnership with a U.S. federal
government agency. NASA is also working with other companies to
develop traffic management for these low altitude vehicles.

"UberAir will be performing far more flights on a daily basis than it
has ever been done before. Doing this safely and efficiently is going
to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies,"
Jeff Holden, chief product officer at Uber, said in a statement on
Wednesday.

"Combining Uber's software engineering expertise with NASA's decades
of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward for
Uber Elevate."

The NASA deal is the latest in a series of partnerships Uber has
struck to get UberAir — which is what the new service is called — off
the ground.

Earlier this year it said it was working with authorities in
Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai to bring its flying taxis to those cities.
ber signed a deal with NASA Wednesday to help develop traffic systems
for its flying car project which it hopes to start testing in 2020.

The ride-hailing service published details of its "on demand aviation"
ambitions last year which it has called Uber Elevate.

It is now stepping up its efforts to make the project a reality. Uber
said at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon that it signed a
Space Act Agreement with NASA for the development of "unmanned traffic
management." This is NASA's push to figure out how unmanned aerial
systems (UAS), such as drones that fly at a low altitude, can operate
safely.

Uber wants to make vertical take-off and landing vehicles. That will
allow their flying cars to take off and land vertically. They will fly
at a low altitude.

This is the start-up's first partnership with a U.S. federal
government agency. NASA is also working with other companies to
develop traffic management for these low altitude vehicles.

"UberAir will be performing far more flights on a daily basis than it
has ever been done before. Doing this safely and efficiently is going
to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies,"
Jeff Holden, chief product officer at Uber, said in a statement on
Wednesday.

"Combining Uber's software engineering expertise with NASA's decades
of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward for
Uber Elevate."

The NASA deal is the latest in a series of partnerships Uber has
struck to get UberAir — which is what the new service is called — off
the ground.

Earlier this year it said it was working with authorities in
Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai to bring its flying taxis to those cities.
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/25/uber...ate-event.html
It also signed partnerships with aircraft manufacturers and real
estate companies to figure out where the take off and landing sites
for the flying cars could be.

Uber said Wednesday that it also plans to trial the project in Los
Angeles in 2020 along with the already announced cities. The company
expects the price of a trip to be competitive with the same journey if
done using UberX. It is aiming to get the flying taxi service up
before the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.


It also signed partnerships with aircraft manufacturers and real
estate companies to figure out where the take off and landing sites
for the flying cars could be.

Uber said Wednesday that it also plans to trial the project in Los
Angeles in 2020 along with the already announced cities. The company
expects the price of a trip to be competitive with the same journey if
done using UberX. It is aiming to get the flying taxi service up
before the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/06/tesl...aboolainternal

Tesla's head of battery engineering exits

According to Wagner's LinkedIn page, he is launching a battery and
powertrain startup in California.

Published 5:04 PM ET Mon, 6 Nov 2017
Updated 7:51 PM ET Mon, 6 Nov 2017
Reuters

Timothy Artman | Tesla Motors, Inc.

Tesla's director of battery engineering, Jon Wagner, has left the
electric car manufacturer, according to his LinkedIn profile.

According to Wagner's LinkedIn page, he is launching a battery and
powertrain startup in California. The timeline of his departure is
unknown.

Wagner, who joined the company in January 2013, was involved in
developing technology for all of Tesla's cars, as well as the
Powerwall, according to his profile.

Tesla and Wagner did not respond to requests for comment.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/25/uber...ate-event.html

Uber is getting serious about building real, honest-to-god flying
taxis

Andrew J. Hawkins
Published 1:10 PM ET Tue, 25 April 2017
Updated 3:42 PM ET Tue, 25 April 2017

When Uber first announced its crazy-sounding plan to explore
"on-demand urban aviation" — essentially a network of flying taxis
that could be hailed via a smartphone app and flown from rooftop to
rooftop — the company made it clear that it never intended to go it
alone.
http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/27/1...f-driving-vtol

Today, as it kicked off its three-day Elevate conference in Dallas,
Texas
http://www.theverge.com/2017/4/24/15...e-event-dallas
, the ride-hail company announced a slew of partnerships with cities,
aviation manufacturers, real estate, and electric charging companies,
in its effort to bring its dream of flying cars a little closer to
reality.

Teaming up with Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai

Uber said it will be teaming up with the governments of Dallas-Fort
Worth and Dubai to bring its flying taxis to those cities first. It is
also joining forces with real estate firm Hilwood Properties in
Dallas-Fort Worth to identify sites where it will build takeoff and
landing pads, which Uber calls "vertiports." It has signed contracts
(or is in the midst of contract negotiations) with five aircraft
manufacturers to work on the design and production of lightweight,
electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. And
it launched a partnership with an electric charging company called
ChargePoint, to develop charging stations for Uber's flying taxis.

It's a flurry of activity that's meant to signal that Uber is serious
about adding flying taxis to its list of outlandish,
quasi-impractical, always ambitious projects for the future. (See also
its self-driving car experiments.) The company said it is aiming to
publicly demonstrate its first flying taxi service in 2020, which is a
lot sooner than you think, considering a lot of the technology hasn't
been validated. And Uber is a company known for cutting corners and
flaunting regulations in its mad dash sprint to disrupt transportation
and grab market share. All of which raises the question: who's going
to want to fly with Uber?

If today's announcement is any indication, the answer is plenty of
people. Bell Helicopters, one of the largest manufacturers of
commercial and military vertical takeoff vehicles in the US (they
produce both the V-22 Osprey and the forthcoming V-280 Valor), says it
will be working with Uber on its flying taxi idea. "We're very excited
to be collaborating with them," Mitch Snyder, CEO of Bell Helicopter,
told The Verge on Monday.

Standing next to his futuristic concept helicopter
https://www.verticalmag.com/news/bel...cept-aircraft/
, the FCX-001, in the lobby of his Fort Worth-based company, Snyder
said Uber's reputation shouldn't be a concern in relation to this
project. "I can't comment on their headlines," Snyder said. "What I
can comment on is Bell and our integrity. We're going to provide safe
vehicles going forward. We're going to work with Uber. We're going to
collaborate with them. It's an exciting opportunity."

In addition to Bell, Uber says it plans to work with a handful of
small aircraft manufacturers like Aurora Flight Sciences, Pipistrel
Aircraft, Embraer, and Mooney. Executives from these companies will be
speaking more about their collaboration with Uber during the Elevate
summit in Dallas.

According to Jeff Holden, Uber's chief product officer, flying taxis
represent "the pinnacle of urban mobility — the reduction of
congestion and pollution from transportation, giving people their time
back, freeing up real estate dedicated to parking and providing access
to mobility in all corners of a city."
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