Hyundai Motor Co and General Motors Co are pushing forward with the development of flying cars, the two companies said on Monday. The South Korean company expressed optimism that the air-taxi service would be in operation as early as 2025. It would take until 2030 to overcome technical and regulatory hurdles so as to begin commercial operations, a GM executive said.
Zero-emissions aircrafts capable of vertical take-off and landing, that can carry passengers and cargo, are being developed by a number of startups as well as aircraft makers and automakers, but they face a long road to profitability.
Hyundai is ahead of its previously stated timetable for rolling out air-mobility vehicles, Jose Munoz, the company’s global chief operating officer, said in an interview broadcast on Monday at the Reuters Events Car of the Future conference.
Munoz, who is also CEO of Hyundai North America, previously said urban air taxis would be in operation at major US airports by 2028 and perhaps earlier. He told Reuters on Monday it could possibly happen before 2025.
“We see this market as a significant growth opportunity,” Munoz said, adding he was “very confident” of the technology’s development.
Hyundai is developing air taxis powered by electric batteries that can transport five to six people from highly congested urban centers to airports.
Other automakers developing flying cars either alone or with startups include Toyota Motor Corp, Daimler AG and China’s Geely Automobile Holdings.
“I think that there’s a long pathway here,” Pamela Fletcher, vice president of GM’s Global Innovation team, said at the Reuters event. “2030 is probably a real commercial inflection point.”
In January, GM unveiled a flying Cadillac concept.
Munoz said Hyundai sees its flying cars serving not only residential customers but also transporting commercial cargo. Hyundai does not want to sell flying cars as a simple transaction, but believes it can develop services around the vehicles, he added.
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