Nearly a decade ago, the idea for Uber was born out of a need to get a ride on a cold night in Paris. That’s why we’re excited to announce our new Advanced Technologies Center in the city where it all began.
Every month more than seventy million people use the Uber app globally to get a safe, reliable ride. Whether it’s a car home from your nearest metro station, a shared trip with uberPOOL, or an electric bike, we want to make it easy for you to get around at the push of a button.
But we’ve realized that to create efficient cities with less congestion and cleaner air, we also need to look to the sky. To do this we launched our Elevate program in 2016 to build a network of all-electric, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft powered by distributed electric propulsion.
And as we continue to build a mobility platform for everyone, we know we must invest in AI and machine learning. Already we have Uber advanced technology offices in Pittsburgh, Toronto, and San Francisco, where we also have an AI Lab.
Today we’re committing to a new Advanced Technologies Center which will initially focus on Uber Elevate. France is a perfect home for our next step forward with its strong history of research and development, world-class engineers and a unique role in aviation worldwide.
Advanced Technologies Center Paris (ATCP)
ATCP will be Uber’s first research and development hub outside of North America. Over the next five years, we’ll be investing €20 million into developing new technologies and capabilities to move our vision forward.
This begins with building artificial intelligence and airspace management systems to support uberAIR at scale, which will be key to achieving our goal of demonstration flights in Dallas, Los Angeles, and a third, international city by 2020.
ATCP will open this autumn and will be looking to hire top engineering, machine learning, and computer vision talent. Research will focus on capabilities across airspace management, autonomy, real-time communication networks, energy storage, and charging systems.
To meet future energy demands, ATCP will also work with European city planners and regulators to model infrastructure needs for electrified transportation.
A new partnership with École polytechnique (l’X)
Just as the future of transportation will be shared, so will the journey that gets us there. Today we’re announcing a five-year research partnership with École polytechnique and a commitment to endow the first International Academic and Research Chair of “Integrated Urban Mobility”.
The Chair will collaborate with ATCP on research across artificial intelligence, aviation and all-electric transport. Initial projects will include: machine learning-based transport demand modeling, high-density low-altitude air traffic management simulations, integration of innovative airspace transport solutions with European aviation regulators such as EASA, and the development of smart grids to support future fleets of electric transport on the ground and in the air.
Delivering on our bold aspirations for the future will require working together with the best and brightest minds. As an institution at the cutting-edge of science and technology we are excited to work with École polytechnique to take urban mobility forward. Together we’ll work towards a future where anyone can get a flight at the push of a button.