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Uber hires NASA veteran to help it figure out flying cars

Uber hires NASA veteran to help it figure out flying cars

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.

Mark Moore, a 30-year veteran of NASA, has left the aeronautics agency for a seemingly more terrestrial business: ride-hailing giant Uber.

Uber is having such a great time implementing a self-driving auto program, so the ride-hailing giant made a decision to up the ante and hired a NASA veteran to develop flying cars, because that's an outstanding idea.

Mark Moore, formerly with Langley Research Center, published a white paper on vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, in 2010.

Most notably, Uber said it wasn't going to build its own flying auto, but stood ready to "contribute to the nascent but growing VTOL ecosystem and to start to play whatever role is most helpful to accelerate this industry's development".

More news: Head of Homeland Security meets with Abbott in RGV

It has to be noted that Moore won't exactly be building flying cars for Uber...yet.

"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, according to Bloomberg.

Moore was listed as a contributor to the paper. His Puffin (seen below) is a little different than the current designs for Uber Elevate, but the general concept is the same. But he says Uber, with its 55 million active riders, can uniquely demonstrate that there could be a massive, profitable and safe market. He says each flying vehicle company would need to independently negotiate with suppliers to get prices down, and lobby regulators to certify aircrafts and relax air-traffic restrictions. And Moore is there to go along for the ride, leaving NASA one year before he's eligible for retirement and leaving a substantial percentage of his pension and free health care for life behind, reports Bloomberg.

VTOL aircraft are also being explored by two Larry Page-backed startups, as well as commercial aviation company Airbus through its Vahana project.

His move to Uber is a risky one. "It's the federal government who is best positioned to overcome extremely high levels of risks", he said.

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