NASA is working with Uber on flying taxis

Uber's project for flying cars, known as Elevate, caused a whirlwind of attention when it was unveiled in late 2016. Now, the ride-sharing company has taken the next step in the project, teaming up with NASA to help manage the vehicles.

In a speech at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, on Wednesday, Jeff Holden, Uber's head of product, said the company would be adding Los Angeles to its list of test cities where it expects to be able to have an aerial taxi service by 2020. Also on the list are Dallas-Fort Worth and Dubai, which had been previously announced.

"Combining Uber's software engineering expertise with NASA's decades of airspace experience to tackle this is a crucial step forward for Uber Elevate," Holden said in a statement on Wednesday.

As part of the deal, Uber has signed a Space Act Agreement with the government agency to work through creating an air traffic control system for regulating the vehicles. NASA has used these types of contracts in the past to work with "various partners to advance NASA mission and program objectives, including international cooperative space activities."

With the deal coming to light, Uber released a video (provided by Engadget) detailing how it expects the process will work, with a passenger booking a ride on the Uber app and being taxied off just minutes later.