Hyundai Motor teams up with Uber to launch flying taxi by 2023
Updated: 2020-01-07 16:54:22 KST
Hyundai Motor is taking a major step to transform from a conventional carmaker into a smart mobility company.
At CES on Monday, Hyundai's Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun unveiled the full-scale prototype for the personal air vehicle designed for Uber's planned air taxi service.
Dubbed 'S-A1', it has a top speed of 2-hundred-90 kilometers an hour at an altitude of around 3-hundred to 6-hundred meters.
It seats five people, including a pilot, but in the future the plan is for it to be self-flying.
It has other qualities, too, that make it ideal for use in cities.
Because it takes off and lands vertically, it doesn't need a runway.
Plus, it makes less noise than a conventional helicopter.
And all these qualities, according to Hyundai, will open a new era of what it called "Liberation from Grid Lock" and "Democratization of Flight".
"By point-to-point air travel, we can reduce travel time drastically by avoiding traffic congestion. Also, we will be able to fly on demand, just imagine that. Rather than fitting our lives around the airline schedules."
It will also open a new chapter for Uber and its ambitious project for aerial ridesharing called Uber Elevate.
"Hyundai is our first vehicle partner with experience of manufacturing passenger cars on a global scale, and we believe Hyundai has the potential to build Uber Air vehicles at rates unseen in the current aerospace industry."
As of now, no details have been announced about when it'll go into production, but Uber aims to commercialize the service within three years.
Through this innovative collaboration between Hyundai's manufacturing capabilities and Uber's platform technology, the two companies have a chance to take urban transportation literally to another level.