Uber Signs Agreements with NASA and Army Research Lab to Develop Technologies for Urban Air Mobility
An artist’s conception of a future where different aircraft—vertical takeoff, traditional takeoff, crewed, and uncrewed—safely perform a variety of daily missions in rural to urban environments. (Credit: NASA/Advanced Concepts Laboratory)
Early this month, Uber Technologies signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to research new urban air mobility (UAM) methods and technologies that would provide a safe and efficient system for future air transportation in highly populated areas.
This is the second Space Act Agreement signed between the space agency and the transportation company; however, it marks the first agreement that focuses solely on UAM operations.
In a press release, NASA stated that under the agreement Uber will share its plans for implementing the urban aviation rideshare network, while NASA will use cutting-edge airspace management computer modeling and simulation to assess the impacts of small aircraft in crowded environments. NASA’s computer modeling and simulation would include anything from drone delivery to passenger aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capability.
The research will be conducted at NASA’s research facility at Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport. The agency will use data supplied by Uber to simulate a small passenger-carrying aircraft as it flies through DFW airspace during peak period of scheduled air traffic.
Uber also signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the U.S. Army Research, Development, and Engineering Command’s (REDCOM) Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to advance technologies for the company’s Future Vertical Lift.
Under the CRADA, Uber and REDCOM ARL signed an initial joint work statement to jointly fund and collaborate on rotor technology R&D that could potentially lead to discoveries that support Army modernization priorities. The CRADA allows for additional joint work statements in other aligned research areas.
The partners expect to spend a combined total of $1 million in funding for this research, with the funding divided equally between each party.
To read the full NASA press release, including statements from NASA and Uber, visit https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-uber-to-explore-safety-efficiency-of-future-urban-airspace.
For CRADA details and partner statements from REDCOM ARL, visit https://www.arl.army.mil/www/default.cfm?article=3219.