Uber Hires NASA Veteran to Work On Flying Car Project

Uber hires NASA engineer to help develop unmanned flying taxis

Moore worked at NASA "as an advanced aircraft engineer and basically kickstarted the current interest in vertical take-off and landing craft for short-haul urban flight with a 2010 paper on the feasibility of the helicopter-like vehicles". The vehicles would be capable of providing a speedy alternative to the dreary morning commute.

It sounds a little insane, but a shakeup involving NASA and Uber might mean that flying cars will land in your city sooner than you think, because Uber just poached the Thomas Edison of personal aviation from NASA - and we have Donald Trump to thank.

Now Moore is leaving the confines of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, where he has spent the last 30 years, to join one of Google's rivals: Uber Technologies Inc.

It has to be noted that Moore won't exactly be building flying cars for Uber...yet. And so the scoop from Bloomberg on Monday should come as no surprise: Uber has managed to lure away Mark Moore, a 30-year employee of NASA and its resident flying auto expert.

Also Lockheed Martin, the aerospace giant and frequent government contractor has in development an autonomous flying vehicle to deliver both troops and supplies in hard to reach places. The ride-hailing company wants "to play whatever role is most helpful to accelerate this industry's development", the company wrote in an outline.

Moore was listed as a contributor to the paper. "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", Moore said. He explained that negotiations with suppliers are needed in order to bring prices down, and the company would have to lobby regulators for aircraft certifications and relaxed restrictions on air traffic. Terrafugia, a Massachusetts-based startup, has with its Transition "roadable aircraft" developed a viable flying-car technology, but thus far, the company hasn't delivered any of the aircraft/vehicles. We haven't really even seen a halfway decent prototype.

His move to Uber is a risky one.

Moore was reportedly disenchanted with NASA because the agency is not exploring innovative aviation projects.

"It's the federal government who is best positioned to overcome extremely high levels of risks", [Moore] says.

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