As part of its Uber Elevate project, US company Uber has just announced that it is setting up a technology centre in France aimed at developing its future flying vehicle. It will be located in Paris and benefit from 20 million euros of investment over a five-year period.
At the latest Tech For Good summit, hosted by French president Emmanuel Macron on 23 May at the Elysee Palace, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi spoke of his wish to set up an advanced technologies centre in Paris (ATCP) as part of the Uber Elevate project.
Uber has been working on this programme for a number of years now, the aim of which is to design flying vehicles for passenger transport. The future craft will be similar to helicopters and booked via an app, as is the case with conventional Ubers. They will however be autonomous and not require a pilot, French website Numerama reports.
20 million euros invested over five years
The future technology centre will benefit from an investment of 20 million euros over a period of five years and is slated to open next autumn. Its first mission will be to develop the artificial intelligence and management systems required for air space management. This field of study also concerns NASA, whose collaboration with Uber as part of the UberAir project was announced last November at the Web Summit 2017.
The Parisian research and development centre is the first of its kind outside North America and will have a number of aims. In parallel with the Uber Elevate project, it will study areas of cross-cutting interest such as autonomy, energy storage, charging systems and real-time communication networks, Uber explains.
Several dozen employees to be recruited
While Uber has not yet given exact details of the staff numbers in its centre, several dozen employees are set to be taken on over the course of the coming five years, and this figure could be adapted to meet the future ambitions of the group in the French capital.
Recruitment at the ATCP is likely to focus on specialists in engineering and machine learning and vision.
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