Uber Technologies, the leading ride-hailing app in the U.S., has named Mark Moore, a NASA advanced aircraft engineer, in the new role of director of engineering for aviation. Seven years ago, Moore published a whitepaper on electric aircrafts that can take off and land, similar to helicopters, but are a lot smaller and don’t make as much noise, reported Bloomberg.
His research sparked a lot of interest from the likes of Google Cofounder Larry Page, who Bloomberg said, as a result of the whitepaper, secretly created and bankrolled two startups in Silicon Valley — Zee Aero and Kitty Hawk — to develop that technology. At Uber, Moore will work on a flying car project 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,” Moore said in an interview with Bloomberg.
While Uber isn’t gearing up yet to develop a flying car, in a whitepaper published by the startup with an assist from Moore, Uber laid out its vision for a world in which there are commutes that take place in the air. Uber also named the technical challenges its idea would face and said it is aiming to help the industry solve those challenges, including noise pollution, limited battery lives and the efficiency of the vehicles.
“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 whitepaper,” Nikhil Goel, Uber’s head of product for advanced programs, said in an email statement to Bloomberg.