Hyundai and Uber have partnered up – Uber providing rideshare services and Hyundai, design and manufacturing – to release an air-taxi service.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this week, the pair revealed an electric flying vehicle for a future aerial ride share network that will re-shape the future of air-taxi services.
Hyundai is the first company to join the Uber Elevate initiative, bringing automotive-scale manufacturing capability and a track record of mass-producing electric vehicles.
The first prototype, to be ready in 2023 according to Hyundai, will be able to be ordered through Uber’s app.
A human pilot is anticipated to fly the taxi, yet software to autonomously control the aircraft is being finalised, according to Hyundai.
The vehicle is one representation of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility program, where electric passenger vehicles are aiming to make use of aerospace.
Hyundai and Uber’s designs to lay ground-base infrastructure to support the flying-taxi service was presented, showing “hub” structures and a landing pad.
Hyundai’s purpose-built vehicle (PBV) is customised to ferry passengers from pick-up points to the hub for take-off, but also contain a coffee shop and medical clinic.
Hyundai says they adopted a NASA-inspired approach to propel innovation by publicly releasing vehicle design concepts that any company can use to develop their own custom air taxi models and engineering technologies.
Jaiwon Shin, executive vice president and head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) division, says, “Our vision of Urban Air Mobility will transform the concept of urban transportation.”
“We are confident that Uber Elevate is the right partner to make this innovative product readily available to as many customers as possible.”