Uber has announced plans to open a new research and development centre in Paris, where engineers and AI experts will be tasked with designing flying taxis. Set to open this fall, the Advanced Technologies Center in Paris (ATCP) will be Uber's first R&D centre 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, notes the official announcement.
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.
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