Hyundai Motor Group made a big announcement last week. The South Korean automaker is going to venture into ‘Urban Air Mobility’ space or simply put, has created an in-house flying car division. With this, the company has now become the first automaker to do so. To lead this newly created division, Hyundai has appointed Dr Jaiwon Shin, the former leader of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA. The company says that this new division is going to focus on the development of ‘smart air mobility solutions’. And hence, help in decongesting ground traffic which is caused as a result of ‘mega urbanization’.
“Having worked on cutting-edge aviation research and development at NASA for 30 years, I am very excited and humbled by the opportunity to now shape urban air mobility strategy at Hyundai Motor Group,” Dr Shin said. “The new team at Hyundai will develop core technologies that will establish the company as a driving force in urban air mobility, a sector that is expected to grow into a market worth USD 1.5 trillion within the next 20 years.”
Hyundai believes that the concept of urban air mobility is going to play a critical role in the future as a solution to the increasing traffic problems faced by all the megacities around the world. Hyundai’s new division is going to focus on innovating and providing smart mobility solution in this arena.
Though Hyundai is the first carmaker to have its in-house flying car division, it is not the first to venture into this space altogether. Toyota is currently working on a single person flying vehicle and is conducting tests on the same. It plans to light the Olympic torch with the same at the 2020 games to be held in Tokyo. In addition to this, Volvo and Lotus’ Chinese owner, Geely, has also recently taken over Terrafugia, a flying car company and is making positive strides in this arena.