Uber to set up Paris lab to develop flying taxi project

US transport company Uber has said it will invest 20 million euros over the next five years in a Paris-based laboratory, in cooperation with the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique engineering school, for the development of sky taxis, which it hopes will be operational by 2023.

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Uber's plan to create flying taxis moved a step closer as the ride-hailing firm announced that it will open a laboratory in Paris to develop them, reports BBC News.

It will invest 20 million euros (£17.5m) over five years to create AI algorithms and air traffic control systems, among other technology.

It will also partner with the prestigious engineering school Ecole Polytechnique.

The announcement will be seen as coup for President Macron who is keen to make France a global technology hub.

"With world-class engineers and a leading role in global aviation, France is the perfect place to advance our Uber Elevate program and new technology initiatives," Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement.

"We're excited to partner with Ecole Polytechnique to shape the future of urban mobility, on the ground and in the air."

Uber Elevate is an ambitious project, with the firm hoping to launch sky taxis by 2023.

It is working with Nasa and the US Army on the project and has two aircraft manufacturers - Embraer and Pipistrel Aircraft - also on-board.

Read more of this report from BBC News.

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