Jaiwon Shin, head of Hyundai's urban air mobility division, said he expects the large-scale manufacturing to keep costs affordable for the aerial systems. Hyundai is also the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative, which saw Uber partner with manufacturers such as Bell, Embraer and Aurora Flight Services, a Boeing subsidiary.
South Korean automaker Hyundai unveiled its concept flying vehicle, a full-scale prototype that is set to be mass-produced under a partnership it has struck with Uber Technologies Inc.
The S-A1 is designed for a cruising speed up to 290 km/h, a cruising altitude of around 300 to 600 metres above ground, and to fly trips up to 100 km. Under the partnership, Hyundai will produce and deploy the air vehicles, and Uber will provide airspace support services, connections to ground transportation, and customer interfaces through an aerial ride share network.
Hyundai has sold more than 4.5 million vehicles globally and now employs 110,000 people worldwide.
Urban travelers may soon be saying hi to a high-flying Hyundai air taxi after a deal between the car-maker and ride-sharing company Uber.
U.S. ride-hailing company Uber Technologies and South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor plan to jointly develop electric air taxis, they said on Tuesday, joining the race for flying cars to ease urban congestion.
The Hyundai vehicle will be 100 per cent electric, utilizing distributed electric propulsion and during peak hours will require about five to seven minutes for recharging. The taxi will have several small motors to reduce noise, and will take off and land vertically.
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The S-A1 PAV reflects Uber Elevate's previous eVTOL designs.
Initially, the S-A1 has been created to fly under pilot operation, though in time the vehicles will become autonomous, said Hyundai. "We are confident that Uber Elevate is the right partner to make this innovative product readily available to as many customers as possible".
As its designation suggests, the S-A1 is created to take off vertically and then transition to fixed-wing generated lift in cruise, before transitioning to a vertical descent for landing.
The cabin is designed with four passenger seats, allowing riders to board / disembark easily and avoid the dreaded middle seat with enough space for a personal bag or backpack / rider.
Based on the blueprint, a vertical landing and takeoff area for personal air vehicles will be located on the roof of a hub, while the first floor will have docking stations for PBVs.
Hyundai also revealed its Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV) concept that will complement the PAV concept for seamless urban transportation.
Shin, a former NASA engineer hired by Hyundai previous year, said the mobility industry believes that once the everyday flight market matures fully, it will exceed the current number of commercial airplanes flying around the world - about 25,000.