Key Hire Could Make Uber's Flying Car Dream Come True

Moore had been working on flying auto technology at NASA for years, but funding for the projects was regularly redirected away from personalized electronic vehicles toward other projects, like low-carbon aircraft. One Uber official even suggests we could have flying cars in the next decade.

Moore will assume the job of director of engineering for aviation at Uber to work on its flying auto initiative known as Uber Elevate, the report said.

In 2010, an advanced aircraft engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center named Mark Moore published a white paper outlining the feasibility of electric aircrafts that could take off and land like helicopters but were smaller and quieter. (Though it's probably safe to say that Uber, with some $11 billion on its balance sheet, is making it worth his while.) Moore seems to be disillusioned with NASA, saying the agency is leaving promising new aviation markets to the private industry.

Uber, a ride-sharing service turned tech conglomerate, recently hired a former engineer at NASA to lead its exploration of flying auto technology.

Most notably, Uber said it wasn't going to build its own flying vehicle, but stood ready to "contribute to the nascent but growing VTOL ecosystem and to start to play whatever role is most helpful to accelerate this industry's development". For one, Uber has yet to build its VTOL craft, having only detailed a vision of a future with short airborne transits.

"Uber continues to see its role as a catalyst to the growing developing VTOL ecosystem", Uber's head of product for advanced programs, Nikhil Goel, said in a statement emailed to PCMag.

Moore's commitment to such a future is extremely apparent.

It has to be noted that Moore won't exactly be building flying cars for Uber...yet.

There are a number of things that still need to happen for flying cars to become a reality: Batteries need to last longer, air travel regulations need refinement, autonomous flight need to be developed, and noise pollution needs to be reined in.

Moore was hired for this specific reason, to help Uber make their way through these hurdles.