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article imageUber tells Congress of flying car plans

By Lisa Cumming     Aug 1, 2018 in Technology
During a July 24th hearing in front of the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology, Eric Allison, the head of aviation programs at Uber, gave a testimony about Uber's plans for flying cars.
The full committee hearing titled "Urban Air Mobility – Are Flying Cars Ready for Take-Off?" heard from Dr. Jaiwon Shin, the associate administrator of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA; Dr. John-Paul Clarke, a College of Engineering Dean’s Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Dr. Allison; Michael Thacker, the executive vice president of Technology and Innovation at Bell; and Anna Mracek Dietrich, the co-founder of Terrafugia, a transportation company working on developing flying cars.
Allison leads Uber's Elevate initiative, the sector of the company that's working on developing uberAIR.
"We are developing uberAIR because we believe aerial ridesharing has the potential to radically improve urban mobility," said Allison during the hearing.
During the hearing, Allison told the committee that the company aims to start testing air vehicles in Texas and California by 2020 and plans to deploy certified aircraft in 2023.
According to Transport Up, Uber is using the hearing to "lay the foundation" for a good relationship with government.
"Ultimately, no one company can do this alone," said Allison. "Broad-based partnerships with government and industry are critical to achieve this vision."
Allison said that Uber is partnering with five companies to build the vehicles: Bell, Aurora, Embraer, Pipistrel, and Karem Aircraft. In addition Uber has partnered with NASA and Allison is also a member of NASA’s Advisory Council Aeronautics Committee.
"Working with world class leaders like those at this table, we believe we can make a sizable impact on this challenge," said Allison. "Bringing about lasting positive change for the world in the process."
This lasting positive change includes a promise of reducing congestion "because there’s just a lot more space (in the sky)" and improving overall quality of life, also promising that the aircraft will get quieter once it reaches cruising speed, to quell concerns over noise pollution.
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