by The Associated Press | May 09, 2018
LOS ANGELES (AP) - NASA and Uber have signed an agreement to explore putting flying taxis in the skies over U.S. cities. NASA said Tuesday that it will begin simulations for so-called "urban air mobility" vehicles that also include delivery drones. The announcement comes as the Uber Elevate [uber.com/info/elevate] summit in Los Angeles brings together tech and transportation leaders to discuss the future of urban aviation.
 
According to NASA officials, the goal is to create a rideshare network that will allow residents to hail a small aircraft the same way Uber users can now use an app to call a car. Simulations will be conducted at NASA's research facility at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
 
Uber originally announced plans for the flying taxi in November 2017. The Associated Press reported at the time that the futuristic machine could start demonstration flights in 2020. The company aims to have its first paying passengers in various cities around the world by 2023, though the plan still faces major hurdles.
 
The battery-powered aircraft in development looks like a cross between a small plane and a helicopter, with fixed wings and rotors. It was presented at an international technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal.