Uber Hires Veteran NASA Engineer to Develop Flying Cars
While everybody seems to be talking about the approaching reality of self-driving cars, some are looking a little further over the horizon to a topic of even more sci-fi dreams over the years — flying cars. Will they happen? Some major technology companies are putting a big bet on the answer being Yes, and Uber is joining that group.
Uber’s vision is a seductive one, particularly for sci-fi fans. The ride-hailing company envisions people taking conventional Ubers from their homes to nearby “vertiports” that dot residential neighborhoods. Then they would zoom up into the air and across town to the vertiport closest to their offices. (“We don’t need stinking bridges!” says former NASA advanced aircraft engineer Mark Moore.) These air taxis will only need ranges of between 50 to 100 miles, and Moore thinks that they can be at least partially recharged while passengers are boarding or exiting the aircraft. He also predicts we’ll see several well-engineered flying cars in the next one to three years and that there will be human pilots, at least managing the onboard computers, for the foreseeable future.
Bloomberg Technology has lots more on Uber’s vision for a world of flying cars, including details on the obstacles Moore believes stand in the way of flying cars.