Uber says its fleet of flying taxis is just around the corner

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This is NASA's first such agreement specifically focused on modeling and simulation for UAM operations.

The unveiling was made during Uber Elevate 2018, in Los Angeles, California.

By Eric NewcomerUber Technologies Inc. announced a partnership to study urban manned aircraft in conjunction with the U.S. space agency NASA, following a partnership previous year that focused on unmanned drones.

At the conference at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles, Uber showed films and models of a futuristic city with such vehicles, seemingly inspired by the film "Blade Runner".

At its second Elevate summit this week, Uber is revealing new concept images that shed light on what it's hoping will be the flying cars that carry passengers in the future. It's a world where passengers request an Uber Air on their phone, then head to rooftop sky ports where the aircraft take off.

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"NASA is excited to be partnering with Uber and others in the community to identify the key challenges facing the UAM market", said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

"We want to create the network around those vehicles so that regular people can take these taxis in the air for longer distances when they want to avoid traffic at affordable prices", Khosrowshahi told CBS News.

Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles are the first US metropolitan areas scheduled to have the vehicles lifting off from area skyports, perhaps as early as 2020. The vehicles resemble helicopters, but are quieter with four prop rotors on each wing and electric propulsion to cut down on emissions.

For now, the concept vehicle is slated to have a cruising speed of between 150 miles per hour and 200 miles per hour, Uber said in a statement. To help create skyports for the uberAIR network, Uber has also entered into real estate partnerships with Hillwood Properties and Sandstone Properties.