Hyundai Unveils Air-Taxi Concept

Hyundai has teamed up with Uber to develop an air-taxi concept for its vision of the future smart city.

Unveiling the concept at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the Korean automaker envisages a future aerial ride-share network and is the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative, hoping to bring large-scale manufacturing capabilities and a track record of mass-producing electric vehicles.

Hyundai will produce and deploy the air vehicles under the project while Uber will provide airspace support services, connections to ground transportation and customer interfaces through an aerial ride share network.

Hyundai’s first air-taxi concept, or personal air vehicle (PAV), is dubbed S-A1 and is designed for vertical take-off and landing. A full BEV, it claims a cruising speed up to 180mph, a cruising altitude of around 1,000-2,000 feet and to fly trips up to 60 miles between recharges which should take up to seven minutes.

The vehicle will be piloted initially, but over time they will become autonomous. Cabins are designed with four passenger seats with enough space for a personal bag or backpack. Hyundai imagines the PAVs working out of ride-share hubs dotted around a future smart city.

Jaiwon Shin, executive vice-president and head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) division, said: “We expect urban air mobility 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.”

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

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