Uber has teamed up with NASA to begin the development of a flying taxi.
The taxi app firm has confirmed that it is the first ever company to work alongside NASA on a programme that is related to low-altitude air space travel rather than outer space.
Chief product officer Jeff Holden spoke to the Daily Mail about the partnership. He said: “There is a reality that Uber has grown up a lot as a company. 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.”
Holden confirmed the company will begin testing of an aircraft capable of seating four passengers and travelling at 200mph, with plans to introduce an “intra-city flying taxi service” across areas of America and Europe by 2023.
The idea is to have a vehicle that is electric jet powered, but with some autonomy and drone-like propellers, which will be vertical to help lift the aircraft into the sky.
Like the current Uber app, customers would be able to order a flying taxi via their smartphone.
However, Uber is not the only company working alongside NASA on this sort of development. It has said it is working alongside many large and small firms to help create “Urban Air Mobility”.
The plane will not be built by Uber themselves. Uber has recently signed up Embraer, Mooney, Bell Helicopter and Pipistrel Aircraft to help design and build the aircraft, according to the Daily Mail.