Cab hailing company Uber has hired an advanced aircraft engineer at NASA’s Langley Research Center named Mark Moore to help its research into flying cars, reported to ET. Mark Moore is joining Uber’s Elevate division as its director of engineering for aviation.

In October last year, Uber’s interest in flying cars was outlined in a White Paper, which discussed vertical take-off and landing on-demand (VTOL) aviation. The vehicles would be capable of providing a speedy alternative to the dreary morning commute.

In its White Paper, Uber said that “on-demand aviation has the potential to radically improve urban mobility, giving people back time lost in their daily commutes. Just as skyscrapers allowed cities to use limited land more efficiently, urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground.”

Moore explored a similar concept in a paper published while he was at Nasa. This move by Mark Moore to Uber is a risky choice as he’s leaving NASA one year before he’s eligible for retirement which means he will be walking away from a significant percentage of his pension and free healthcare for life “to be in the right place at the right time to make this market real.”

Uber is already investing in self-driving cars, with partnerships with Volvo and Daimler.

Slovakian company Aeromobil is one of several working on a prototype flying car, which it is aiming to commercialise this year.

NASA uber
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