Uber signed a deal with NASA Wednesday to help develop traffic systems for its flying car project which it hopes to start testing in 2020.
The ride-hailing service published details of its "on demand aviation" ambitions last year which it has called Uber Elevate.
It is now stepping up its efforts to make the project a reality. Uber said at the Web Summit tech conference in Lisbon that it signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA for the development of "unmanned traffic management." This is NASA's push to figure out how unmanned aerial systems (UAS), such as drones that fly at a low altitude, can operate safely.
Uber wants to make vertical take-off and landing vehicles. That will allow their flying cars to take off and land vertically. They will fly at a low altitude.
This is the start-up's first partnership with a U.S. federal government agency. NASA is also working with other companies to develop traffic management for these low altitude vehicles.
"UberAir will be performing far more flights on a daily basis than it has ever been done before. Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies," Jeff Holden, chief product officer at Uber, said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Combining Uber's software engineering expertise with NASA's decades of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward for Uber Elevate."
The NASA deal is the latest in a series of partnerships Uber has struck to get UberAir — which is what the new service is called — off the ground.