An advanced aircraft engineer at NASA who has been at the forefront of research into VTOL — vertical takeoff and landing, or as it’s more commonly known, flying cars — has been hired by Uber. Bloomberg reports that Uber Technologies Inc. hired Mark Moore, who has been with NASA for 30 years.
The report notes that in 2010, Moore “published a white paper outlining the feasibility of electric aircrafts that could take off and land like helicopters but were smaller and quieter. The vehicles would be capable of providing a speedy alternative to the dreary morning commute.”
The report also notes that Google co-founder Larry Page, after reading Moore’s white paper, “secretly started and financed two Silicon Valley startups, Zee Aero and Kitty Hawk, to develop the technology.”
Moore, however, is moving to a Google rival in Uber, where he will be director of engineering for aviation and will work on the company’s flying car initiative, Uber Elevate.
Said Moore: “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.”
The flying car still faces a number of hurdles. “In its own white paper published last October, the company laid out a radical vision for airborne commutes and identified technical challenges it said it wanted to help the nascent industry solve, like noise pollution, vehicle efficiency and limited battery life,” Bloomberg reports, noting that Moore consulted on the paper.