Set to open this fall, the Advanced Technologies Center in Paris (ATCP) will be Uber's first R&D center outside North America, and will focus on Uber Elevate, a program that aims to build a network of all-electric, flying taxis (also referred to as vertical take-off and landing or VTOL aircraft).
Along with its strong history of research and development, world-class engineers, and unique role in worldwide aviation, Paris is also where the ride-sharing concept was born more than a decade ago, when founders Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp needed a ride on a snowy night in Paris and couldn't catch a cab.
Uber will be investing €20 million over the next five years into the Paris program, where engineers, machine learning, and computer experts will work on airspace management systems, autonomy, real-time communication networks, energy storage and charging systems.
The goal is to help uberAIR achieve lift-off at demonstration flights in Dallas, Los Angeles, and a third international city by 2020.
Commercial launch is scheduled for 2023, when customers will be able to hail a flying taxi on-demand.