Hyundai and Uber have joined hands to develop a flying taxi that could become a reality in the future. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas, Hyundai in partnership with Uber is showcasing a concept personal air vehicle or a PAV. Hyundai becomes the first automotive company to join Uber Elevate’s initiative as they showcased a full-size concept called the Hyundai S-A1.
As a part of this partnership, Hyundai will manufacture and deploy the air vehicles and Uber will provide airspace support services, connections to ground transportation and customer interface through an aerial ride share network. Both Hyundai and Uber are currently working out the details of the programme as to how and where they can land and take off these vehicles.
Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Division said “We expect UAM to vitalize urban communities and provide more quality time to people. We are confident that Uber Elevate is the right partner to make this innovative product readily available to as many customers as possible.”
“Combining Hyundai’s manufacturing muscle with Uber’s technology platform represents a giant leap forward for launching a vibrant air taxi network in the coming years,” said Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate.
The Hyundai S-A1 that is being showcased at the 2020 CES show in Vegas is a full-scale model of a flying taxi. The vehicle is designed to have an optimised electric vertical take-off and landing. The aircraft is designed to be capable of cruising up to 290kmph at an altitude around 1,000-2,000 feet above ground and have a range of around 100kms. The vehicle is said to be fully electric and can charge in about five to seven minutes. The aircraft will be powered by multiple rotors and propellers around the airframe to increase safety by decreasing any single point of failure. the aircraft is also designed to take off and land vertically with wings that transition to lift in cruise and then transition back to vertical flight to land.
Hyundai states that initially, the aircraft will be piloted, but overtime, it will transition to become autonomously operated. The cabin of the aircraft is designed to carry up to four passengers and has been designed to allow riders to board/disembark easily and avoid the dreaded middle seat with enough space for a personal bag or backpack/rider.