Uber announced today that it will open the first research center away from North America and more specifically in Paris, France, for which it will spend $ 24 million over the next five years to develop flying taxi technology. In 2016, for this purpose, the company created the Uber Elevate program to manufacture vertical electric take-off and landing (VTOL) electric vehicles, which are powered by distributed electric propulsion.
As part of this initiative, as well as for autonomous driving vehicles (ie without a driver), Uber has opened advanced offices in Pittsburgh, Toronto and San Francisco.
Eric Allison, head of the Uber Airways program, wrote in a blog post: With the opening of the new advanced technology center in France, which will initially focus on the Uber Elevate division, we commit ourselves to meeting our passenger transport goals with taxis. France is the ideal home for our next step forward as it has a strong history in research and development, world class engineers and a unique role in aviation worldwide.
This announcement came a day after Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and other senior executives attended a summit meeting with French President Emmanuel Makron to discuss some important things about this issue. Today, it also marks the start of the Viva Technology conference in Paris where Khosrowshahi is scheduled to give a speech.
It is worth noting that Uber in France does not have the best reputation, obviously because the workforce working on the company’s vehicles often duly denounces unacceptable working conditions with degrading rewards.