Uber and AT&T testing 5G for flying cars
The partnership supports the efforts of Elevate, Uber's air mobility unit. The multi-phase collaboration is testing ways that operational systems communications networks can enhance safety and reliability for aerial ridesharing and cargo delivery. One problem that currently exists in the conversation about eVTOLS is that wireless networks are not built to extend very high into the sky, as anyone who's flaunted FAA regulations and tried to eek out the last seconds of service in an airplane can attest.
“AT&T has already made important strides in pioneering connectivity capabilities above 500 feet in urban settings,” said Dr. Tom Prevot, Director of Engineering for Airspace Systems at Uber, “and we look forward to working with them on the next generation of breakthroughs.”
The first phase of the collaboration will focus on the nuts and bolts of keeping piloted aircraft connected to 4G and 5G networks at low altitudes and determine existing boundaries. According to AT&T, future phases could include edge computing and network slicing projects to further enable dedicated and reliable connectivity.
AT&T expects to have nationwide 5G sub-6Ghz service in first half- 2020. Uber is looking to launch its aerial ridesharing service in 2023 with commercial flight operations in Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles and an international city to-be-announced at Uber Elevate Summit 2019.
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