Uber flying taxi
A render of Uber’s flying taxi concept. Reuters/Uber/Handout

Uber is very serious with its goal of making flying taxis a reality. NASA may have seen the potential of the ride-hailing company’s project, so it has partnered with the latter to help simulate flying taxis in urban areas.

On Tuesday, Uber and NASA announced their partnership on the flying taxi project. This wasn’t the first time that the two teamed up though. Last year, NASA collaborated with Uber on the same project. At the time though, NASA was assigned to come up with air traffic management for a fleet of flying vehicles.

This time around, NASA will have a bigger involvement in Uber’s ambitious project of bringing flying taxis to urban areas. The space agency will be the one to conduct simulations for the ridesharing network of flying cars. The findings of the simulations will then be used in drafting the industry standards and regulations for the flying taxis, as per Fox43.

If things will go well for the project, Uber and NASA could commercially launch the flying taxis in 2023. When the service is opened to the public, it will follow Uber’s existing system for hailing rides. Thus, clients will have to book their ride through the Uber app.

“The new space act agreement broadening Uber’s partnership with NASA is exciting, because it allows us to combine Uber’s massive-scale engineering expertise with NASA’s decades of subject matter experience across multiple domains that are key to enabling urban air mobility, starting with airspace systems,” Uber’s chief product officer Jeff Holden said in a press release published on NASA’s website.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also opened up about the project in an interview with CBS This Morning. According to him, they are working to realize the project without compromising on the rates of the services it would offer. “We want to create the network around those vehicles so regular people can take these taxis in the air for longer distances when they want to avoid traffic at affordable prices,” he said.

To further make the service affordable to regular clients, Uber is implementing a ridesharing mechanism that would accommodate up to four passengers. Having four riders fit into each air taxi will definitely make a difference on the cost of each flight.

While Uber and NASA are hoping to commercially launch the flying service in 2023, trials are set to commence as early as 2020. More details about the air taxi project are expected to be announced this week.