Uber to test unmanned aircraft in Fort Worth
Uber and other companies have a new place to test their driverless — and pilotless — technology in Fort Worth.
The well-known ride-sharing company — which aims to develop an Uber Elevate air taxi system at DFW Airport and Frisco by 2023 — is among the key players in a new mobility innovation zone at Fort Worth's Alliance Airport.
Hillwood, the company that created the massive AllianceTexas development in far north Fort Worth, announced the creation of the innovation zone Monday. The company says Uber and many other partners who already have a presence at AllianceTexas will be able to collaborate as they develop automation technology for driverless cars and aircraft.
The announcement comes just ahead of a two-day Uber Elevate summit in Washington, where company officials are expected to update business and political leaders about the status of its plans to develop an urban air taxi service.
Another company with a strong presence in far north Fort Worth, Deloitte, will be directly involved in the innovation zone, officials said. Deloitte, which is known for providing accounting services to its partner companies, will provide a "mobility global practice team" that will develop a business model for the zone, officials said. Initially, the mobility innovation zone will be housed in office space formerly occupied by Bell, the Fort Worth-based helicopter manufaturer.
Mike Berry, Hillwood president, says he envisions the innovation zone becoming a much higher profile component of the business offerings at Alliance Airport in the next few years.