Flying cars promised once again, this time by Uber and NASA

Flying cars promised once again, this time by Uber and NASA

CultureNovember 09, 2017 By Lindsey Kline

We’ve all been promised flying cars since childhood. During every traffic jam and every moment spent waiting for a 30-mile train to pass, many of us return to those futuristic fantasies.

Eventually, some asshole honking behind us brings us back to life. We carry on with our miserable commute, and shed a tear for all the unfulfilled promises we’ve faced through the years.

Finally, Uber vows to fulfill those promises. If the company’s novel “flying car” project comes to fruition, rather than sobbing from behind the wheel of your Ford Fiesta, you can whip out your phone and pull up the company’s UberAIR app. You’d head to the roof of a nearby tall building, hop into a cutting-edge helicopter/drone hybrid, and zoom through the skies at about 200 miles per hour, cackling with laughter at all the suckers below you.

Uber first announced its intentions to offer flying cars about a year ago. Yesterday, the project came back into the spotlight after the company unveiled major announcements, including where it will first appear, who will be working on it, and how this revolutionary service will look when it ultimately takes off.

The announcements were made by Uber’s chief product officer, Jeff Holden, at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon. By 2020, the company expects to get its flying ride-sharing service off the ground. The first cities to see UberAIR will be Dubai, Dallas and Los Angeles.

Holden also said that Uber has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to create a brand-new air traffic control system.

To top it all off, Uber released a video revealing exactly what this flying-car service would look like. At the conclusion of the video, the tagline reads: “closer than you think.”

At this point, we’ve learned to be wary of promises for sky-cars. Several other companies, including AirBus, AeroMobil, Kitty Hawk, Moller International, Terrafugia and many others, have been leading us on for years.

But Holden insists that Uber is getting much closer. The progress might be difficult to see from the outside, but the company is making huge strides. Teaming up with NASA is one of those.

Elon Musk believes the future of beating traffic is actually underground. “Obviously, I like flying things,” Elon Musk recently told Bloomberg. “But it’s difficult to imagine the flying car becoming a scalable solution.”

Uber insists otherwise. It envisions thousands of flights per day with trips costing as little as $20.

Whether we’re flying through the skies or through underground tunnels, it makes little difference to us. As long as we can say goodbye to traffic jams and set our Ford Fiesta on fire, the future is a beautiful place to be.