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Uber to build its flying taxi in France

by Ronan Glon

The company will invest 20 million euros to launch production by 2023.

California-based Uber has announced it will funnel 20 million euros (about $23.4 million) over the next five years to develop and build its long-promised flying taxi in France.

"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," said CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in a statement.

Development work will take place in a research facility the ride-sharing giant will soon open on the outskirts of Paris, according to the BBC. Bringing the flying taxi to production will be the facility's only mission when it's inaugurated later this year. It will need to figure out how to safely make the vehicle fly and how to integrate it into the airspace of the world's largest, busiest cities. NASA will help find a solution to the problem of integration.

The BBC adds Uber still aims to launch a network of flying cars by 2023, an ambitious time frame that gives the firm a five-year window to develop the technology, reliably test it, figure out how to mass produce it, and launch it on a broad scale.

If all goes according to plan, Uber's yet-unnamed vehicle won't be the only flying taxi with a "made in France" label. Rival Airbus is developing its own passenger-carrying drone in the heart of the helicopter factory it operates on the outskirts of Marseilles.