Holden also announced that Los Angeles had been added to the list of test cities with Dallas-Fort Worth and along with Dubai. Uber revealed the new NASA Space Act Agreement at the Web Summit conference recently, marking its first deal with a federal agency.
Uber's Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden says he hopes the service will reduce commute times, cut vehicle pollution in major cities and, eventually, the service will be cheaper than if a person were to drive their own auto.
Los Angeles will be the company's third test city.
The company's plans may cause some skepticism considering 2020 is only two years away.
Uber has faced regulatory and legal battles around the world since it launched taxi-hailing services earlier this decade, including in London where it is appealing against a decision to strip it of its license due to safety concerns. Then, there's the lack of infrastructure fundamental for their support.
Such hurdles include the need for approval from the US Federal Aviation Administration for operation outside normal aircraft corridors, which will be hard to obtain due to stringent safety and regulation requirements.
The partnership, announced today at WebSummit in Lisbon, is not beyond Uber's personal ambitions either.
The ride-hailing firm announced November 8 that L.A. will be one of the first cities served by UberAir, which it says will begin ferrying passengers across the region in electric aircraft in 2020. Making taxis fly The contract with NASA is to solve the problem of operating hundreds or thousands of aircraft over urban areas with the goal of enabling uberAIR services to operate alongside existing air traffic control systems and in and around busy airports. Now, the ride-sharing company has taken the next step in the project, teaming up with NASA to help manage the vehicles. NASA is also working with other companies to develop traffic management for these low altitude vehicles.
Uber claims a trip from LAX to the Staples Centre - a 41 minute journey by road - will take under 30 minutes in one of its flying cabs.
No word on whether Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is under consideration as a name for the flying cars.