>> Uber has signed an agreement with NASA to develop urban airspace rules for their flying taxis. This time, they say they're working with the regulators, not against them. This initiative, promising to accelerate dozens of other companies in launching their own science-fiction inspired vision. I'm Reuters' Emily Wither in Lisbon, Europe's largest technology conference where flying cars, pilotless taxis and intercity air buses are dominating discussions here.
Uber says, in just five years, our cities will take off.>> In 2023, there'll be full paid passenger flights happening. So on your smartphone with the Uber app, you'll literally be able to push a button and choose Uber Air as one of the options.>> Uber plans to launch this in Dallas and Los Angeles with tester flights in 2020.
They won't be building these flying taxis but collaborating with different developers to make this a reality.>> We announced five vehicle-manufacturing partners we're working with. And they'll be building the vehicles, we will be helping them accelerate those vehicle programs.>> Developers are racing to launch their urban air offering, Dubai hopes to be the first city using flying taxis with Volocopter.
Airbus hopes to put a self-piloting taxi in the air by 2020. As does Aeromobil who claim these sleek racers can sprout wings switching from road to air within three minutes. But before you think our cities will start resembling the sequel to cult classic Blade Runner set in 2049, Mathias Thomson from Airbus says, not quite.
>> I think the flying car, the Blade Runner analogies, I think that's not necessarily completely helpful in urban air mobility. I think this is a transportation system, it's a new evolution of a helicopter as we know it. It's a better helicopter because it can be more affordable, it can be less noisy, and it has more redundancy in it's architecture.
>> At Web Summit, the message is clear, this idea has wings.