Customers could hail a flying taxi much in the same way they would with an Uber vehicle: via smartphone.
"We are bringing UberAir to Los Angeles in no small part because Mayor Garcetti has embraced technology and innovation, making L.A. a hub for the future", Holden said in the release. As the name suggests, Elevate is Uber's flying vehicle taxi service, which Holden first hinted at back in September of 2016.
The company also announced that Los Angeles would be the third city, following Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai, in which the service would be tested. It seems Uber is now counting on its partnership with NASA to alleviate that concern by working with the agency on Unmanned Traffic Management and Unmanned Aerial Systems projects.
Troubled taxi app Uber has teamed up with American space agency NASA to make "flying taxis" a reality, the two organisations announced on Wednesday. Dallas-Fort Worth wants to be the first metropolitan area in the U.S. to explore a flying vehicle pilot and Uber has already partnered with Hillwood Properties in the region.More news: Don't Use the Calculator on iOS 11.1
Although this is a somewhat ambitious undertaking, Uber has said it plans to develop the software needed to manage flying cars, rather than building its own aircraft.
Earlier this week, driverless auto competitor Waymo - a project of Google's parent company Alphabet - announced that it has launched autonomous vehicles without backup humans on board, the first time that had been done.
Uber wants demonstration machines flying in Los Angeles by 2020. They'll be fully electric and will fly via tiltable rotors, imagine giant versions of today's RC drones, except they can get up to 322km/h and carry people. "Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies".
"At scale, we expect UberAir will perform tens of thousands of flights each day across the city".
Uber has also signed an agreement with Los Angeles' Sandstone Properties, a real estate investment company, to develop Skyport take-off and landing terminals. Moore was formerly NASA's chief technologist for on-demand mobility, so the agreement with NASA will likely have been the end result of conversations that started months ago.