Uber lays up vision for flying cars

In Innovation, Leadership, Tech
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Aggressive ride sharing startup Uber is laying up a radical vision for airborne rides with the hiring of ex Nasa engineer to develop flying cars, in one of the most daring ventures after space exploration.

This means that Kenyans living in Ongata Rongai will hop over the acacia trees and be in town in less than 10 mins leaving traffic jams in the jetstream of history.

Takeoff and land

The company has hired Mark Moore, former NASA engineer who in 2010 published a paper on the possibility that electric cars could take takeoff and land like helicopters.

“The goal of these vehicles is to provide a breakthrough in personal air mobility, through dramatic time-savings and increased reach, and therefore a greatly improved quality of life,” notes the paper.

Uber is known in Kenya for disrupting the taxi business and reducing the cost of transport by almost halving fares.

Accelerant-catalyst

“Uber continues to see its role as an accelerant-catalyst to the entire ecosystem, and we are excited to have Mark joining us to work with manufacturers and stakeholders as we continue to explore the use case described in our whitepaper,” Nikhil Goel, Uber’s head of product for advanced programs told Bloomberg.

However Mr Moore will not be developing the flying car from scratch but will instead be working to address isolated problems otherwise referred to as Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) and issues such as noise pollution, vehicle efficiency, and limited battery life.

According to the white paper titled Personal Air Vehicles the missions include an evolution
from the current small airport operations, to a requirement that encompass extremely short and
vertical takeoff operations.

Challenges 

The paper notes that the technology challenges that must be surmounted to support rural and regional missions include ease of use, automated airspace control, affordable propulsion, economically viable concepts, low community noise, modern certification procedures, and near all weather capability while achieving a factor of ten improvement in small aircraft safety.

It is estimated that humans spend an average of 1.25 minutes in commutes due to traffic jams and the technology could cut the time of travel and seriously improve the standards of living. The move would continue to set America as a major disruptor and contributor to human development.

 

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