Ride hailing company Uber has hired a veteran space engineer to help it develop flying cars.
Bloomberg reports that is taking on a new role as director of engineering for aviation, working on a flying 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,” the news outlet quotes him as saying.
It adds that Uber isn’t constructing a flying car yet. In its own white paper published last October, the company laid out a radical vision for airborne commutes and identified technical challenges it said it wanted to help the nascent industry solve, like noise pollution, vehicle efficiency and limited battery life. Moore consulted on the paper and was impressed by the company’s vision and potential impact.
Nikhil Goel, Uber’s head of product for advanced programs, is quoted as saying the company wants to organise the industry to help spur development of flying cars. “Uber continues to see its role as an accelerant-catalyst to the entire ecosystem, and 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 white paper.”
Bloomberg adds that Uber’s vision is a “seductive one”, envisioning people taking conventional Ubers from their homes to nearby “vertiports” that dot residential neighborhoods. Then they would zoom up into the air and across town to the vertiport closest to their offices.