Uber Hired NASA Engineer to Develop Flying Cars
The private transportation service, Uber, has managed to change the commuting trend today, but it is unlikely to stop there. Reports say that the company hired a NASA engineer to develop the cars of the future -- flying cars.
Mark Moore, a seasoned NASA engineer, was hired by Uber to man its flying car project. Moore will lead the engineering aviation team for the project.
Uber's flying car project, also called Uber Elevate, is looking into developing "air taxi" that will function along "vertiports." Using the air taxi will, in theory, transport commuters between destinations in a shorter travel time compared to the traditional mode of public transport.
The vertiports will reportedly be built 50 miles to 100 miles, according to Space.com. But why was Uber interested with Moore?
Moore was a veteran aircraft engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center. He published a paper discussing electric aircraft in 2010. In his study, Moore suggested that electric aircraft could work like helicopters when taking off and land. But the electric ones will be smaller, lighter and quieter. Moore already suggested that electric aircraft could be the alternative to commuting, even before Uber thought of it.
Moore's famous paper is called the Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) also known as flying cars, according to Bloomberg. After his 30 fruitful years at NASA, Moore will now be the director for the flying car project at Uber Elevate.
"I can't think of another company in a stronger position to be the leader for this new ecosystem and make the urban electric VTOL market real," Moore said.
However, commuters were advised not to put their hopes up just yet. The project is still in its early stages so a construction of a fully functional flying car is not yet on the horizon. But Uber is hopeful that this project will be executed especially now with Moore around.
"It could change cities and how we work and live," Jeff Holden, Uber's head of product, said in a previous interview. "We want to offer our customers as many options as possible to move around."
It looks like the landscape of public transportation and commuting will evolve in the next few years. Aside from Uber, several other companies are reported working on their own versions of flying cars.