Yesterday an agreement was drafted between the ride-sharing company Uber and National Aeronautics and Space Administration which will hopefully pave the way for a real framework to dictate how flying cars, what NASA is calling Urban Air Mobility, will actually operate safely within the confines of a city environment. They plan on using the research facility at Dallas International Airport to simulate hypothetical flying car routes through a congested city during peak travel times.
The UAM vehicles will have to compensate for helicopters, small aircraft & large aircraft. It will have to avoid unplanned aerial obstacles such as birds and hobbyist quadcopters. All while minimizing the danger to anyone on the ground. You see while everyone thinks it would probably be cool to own a flying car. Most people don’t think it’s very cool to have everyone around them own flying cars.
This is a project that was begun by Uber in 2016 and they have set their goal date for flying car operations to 2023. They claim the flying car option will be selected within the existing app similar to how users select between car and SUV. The partnership with NASA is a good early move to establish regulations in this potentially new industry but these are all regulations set and managed by the FAA. In the end, NASA will make recommendations and the FAA will decide to accept or reject them at will. In an arguably related note, Uber shut down its autonomous car operations after a pedestrian was killed by a driverless car in March in Tempe, Arizona. More on this as it develops.
Note; image used for representative purpose only.