NASA has signed a second space act agreement with Uber Technologies to further explore concepts and technologies related to urban air mobility (UAM).
Under the agreement, Uber will share its plans for implementing an urban aviation rideshare network and NASA will utilise airspace management computer modelling and simulation to assess the impacts of small aircrafts in crowded environments.
This is NASA’s first such agreement specifically focused on modelling and simulation for UAM operations.
“NASA is excited to be partnering with Uber and others in the community to identify the key challenges facing the UAM market, and explore necessary research, development and testing requirements to address those challenges,” said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.
“Urban air mobility could revolutionize the way people and cargo move in our cities and fundamentally change our lifestyle much like smart phones have.”
At its research facility at the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, NASA will use the data supplied by Uber to simulate a small passenger-carrying aircraft as it flies through DFW airspace during peak scheduled air traffic.
Jeff Holden, Uber’s chief product officer, added: “The new space act agreement broadening Uber’s partnership with NASA is exciting, because it allows us to combine Uber’s massive-scale engineering expertise with NASA’s decades of subject matter experience across multiple domains that are key to enabling urban air mobility, starting with airspace systems.”
NASA has also been working with other agencies to test technologies that can help drones navigate safely beyond visual-line-of-sight. These activities will generate the data necessary to support the creation of industry standards, Federal Aviation Administration rules and procedures, and other related regulations.