Hyundai Targets Commercial Assets From Drones

Hyundai is ramping up its commercial autonomous vehicle strategy by extending its reach into hybrid-electric unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

It has announced a strategic partnership with Boston’s Top Flight Technologies start-up as part of its effort to become a leader in future mobility solutions.

The partnership hopes to cultivate new business opportunities around UAVs, employing Top Flight’s patented hybrid-electric power system. Potential areas for business development could include cargo transport, inspection services and surveillance missions for industrial sites.

Drones powered by the Top Flight micro generator hybrid power system are claimed to be able to stay airborne for up to two hours, while carrying a load of four kilograms (8.8-lbs).

Hyundai says it is also seeking to enhance its existing operations with the application of drone products and technologies, particularly high-definition (HD) mapping and operations and management (O&M) services.

“In addition to solving the challenges of longer-duration flight for quadcopters, Top Flight is developing the technologies needed to enable new solutions in aerial logistics and mapping which could be useful in Hyundai’s future business,” said John Suh, vice-president of Hyundai’s investment arm, Hyundai Cradle. “Hyundai Motor continues to invest in companies that develop disruptive technologies that are in-line with Hyundai’s current and future strategic thinking.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

 


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