Uber signs deal with NASA to develop flying electric taxis
The American taxi-hailing company has signed a deal with NASA making them one step closer to their autonomous flying taxi plan.
The service web contract was announced by Uber’s Chief Product Officer, Jeff Holden, at Lisbon’s Web Summit.
The firm plans to test the dubbed Uber Elevate in Los Angeles by 2020, with some form of service being available for the 2028 LA Olympics.
The four-passenger taxi would be completely powered by electric and could travel at speeds of 200mph, which Uber claims could cut down 80-minute journeys stuck in traffic to only 4 minutes.
This is part of Uber’s plans to go greener, as it plans to ban all diesel and electric cars in the UK by 2020.
Uber and NASA will be developing autonomous software, as opposed to actual vehicles.
“Doing this safely and efficiently is going to require a foundational change in airspace management technologies. Combining Uber’s software engineering expertise with Nasa’s decades of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward,” stated Jeff Holden.
The company has also previously partnered with Dallas-Forth Worth and Dubai to help makes its plans a reality on time.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.