On Monday, Bloomberg reported that Mark Moore, a former advanced aircraft engineer with NASA's Langley Research Center, would be joining the ridesharing startup as the new director of engineering for aviation. Moore will be working on Uber Elevate, the company's flying-car initiative.
Moore's name is already well-known to flying-car enthusiasts; he published a white paper several years ago on his research into vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL). According to Bloomberg, Moore's research was what inspired Google co-founder Larry Page to get into the flying-car game. He helped launch and funded two startups--Zee.Aero in 2010 and Kitty Hawk in 2015--to work on VTOL technology. Though he kept his work under wraps, Bloomberg Businessweek revealed last summer that he had helped get the two startups off the ground.
As Bloombergnotes, Uber still has a long way to go between hiring Moore and actually producing flying cars. In a white paper the company published last year on the future of VTOL, the company said that it was looking to first host an "Elevate Summit" in the next year with key private and public stakeholders to talk about how to make urban air transportation a reality in cities.