Uber and Hyundai Motor Co announced a new partnership in early January to develop Uber Air Taxis (under the Uber Elevate initiative) and unveiled a new full-scale aircraft concept.
Hyundai is the first automotive company to join this Uber initiative (www.uber.com
), bringing to the partnership automotive-scale manufacturing capability and a track record of mass-producing electric vehicles.
The aircraft concept was created in part through Uber’s open design process — a ‘NASA-inspired approach’ that aims to jump-start innovation by releasing vehicle design concepts so any company can use them.
In this partnership, Hyundai will produce and deploy the vehicles, while Uber provides airspace support services, connections to ground transportation, and customer interfaces through an aerial ride-sharing network.
They are collaborating on infrastructure concepts to support take-off and landing for this new class of vehicles.
Jaiwon Shin, head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) division (www.hyundai.com
), said: “Our vision of UAM will transform the concept of urban transportation; we expect it to vitalise 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.”
Hyundai has worked with Uber Elevate to develop a fully electric Personal Air Vehicle model — S-A1 — thatincorporates innovative design processes to optimise electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft for aerial ride-sharing purposes.
It is designed to carry four passengers, have a cruising speed up to 180mph, a cruising altitude of around 1,000-2,000ft and to provide trips of up to 60 miles (100 km).
Uber has announced a goal of flight demonstrations this year and commercial availability in 2023.