Ride-sharing service Uber has turned to NASA expert Mark Moore for giving wings to its flying car project.

Famous for authoring 2010 white paper on the feasibility of rapid electric aircraft that fly like helicopters, Moore's vision of VTOL — vertical takeoff and landing aircraft or flying cars — was an effective alternative to the morning commuting woes filled with traffic jams.

The advanced aircraft engineer at NASA is tipped to join Uber for its crucial Flying car project anytime soon.

Long before Uber lured Moore, the latter's concept of flying cars had inspired tech billionaire and Google cofounder Larry Page, who kicked off some Silicon Valley startups such as Zee Aero and Kitty Hawk and financed them to foster the technology.

Market Catalyst

Welcoming Moore to the company, Nikhil Goel, head of product for advanced programs at Uber said the company is aiming to organize short haul aviation industry and sees itself in the role as an accelerated developer of flying cars.

"We are excited to have Mark joining us to work with manufacturers and stakeholders as we continue to explore the use case described in our whitepaper," Goel added.

Quits NASA

Moore, on his part, is quitting the elite space agency NASA he served for 30 years to take up Uber's assignment as director of engineering for aviation at the helm of the car initiative known as Uber Elevate.

"I can't think of another company in a stronger position to be the leader for this new ecosystem and make the urban electric VTOL market real," said Moore without hiding his admiration for Uber.

Economic Viability

However, Moore said the market is no bed of roses. There are many hurdles on the path which are not just technical. For staying viable in the market, his bits of advice include flying car companies negotiating directly with suppliers and lobbying with regulators on aircraft certification and relaxing of air-traffic restrictions.

According to Moore, Uber with its 55 million active riders is in a profitable and safer market.

New Traction In Uber Project

Uber's own white paper published in October 2016, for which Moore was consulted, had a vision of solving many challenges in the new industry. They include addressing issues on noise pollution, vehicle efficiency, and limited battery life. Moore was impressed by Uber's vision and the potential impact it carries for the sector.

Uber's vision includes people taking conventional Uber cabs from homes to nearby "vertiports" to zoom into the air to fly down to the vertiports near to their offices. These air taxis can fly between 50 to 100 miles and are recharged when passengers board or exit the aircraft.

Moore also predicts several well-engineered flying cars in the next three years and human pilots will man the onboard computers, for the foreseeable future.

Uber wanted technical challenges faced by the nascent industry solved including noise pollution, vehicle efficiency, and limited battery life.

Moore also sees a comfort factor in teaming up with Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick who is personally driving the flying car plans unlike layers of bureaucracy in other places.

Among other air taxi services on the anvil is AeroMobil, with its combo model of car and a small airplane. Project Vahana by Airbus that is keen to offer a helicopter style aircraft for ferrying passengers.

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