Hyundai and Uber made a splash at CES 2020 with a partnership to develop and deploy Uber Air Taxies, according to a press release.
Hyundai made news in late 2019 when it created its Urban Air Mobility (UAM) division. UAM is focused on creating flying cars and other aerial vehicles, and landed NASA aeronautics director Dr. Jaiwon Shin as the division head. Unlike the many startups that have tried to tackle this field, Hyundai brings vast experience mass-manufacturing complex vehicles.
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. Both parties are collaborating on infrastructure concepts to support take-off and landing for this new class of vehicles.”
As part of their announcement, the two companies unveiled concepts for their first jointly developed personal air vehicle (PAV), the SA-1. The PAV is a 100 percent electric vehicle, with vertical takeoff and landing, cruising altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 feet and a cruising speed of up to 180 miles per hour.
“Our vision of Urban Air Mobility will transform the concept of urban transportation,” said Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Division. “We expect UAM 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.”
“Hyundai is our first vehicle partner with experience of manufacturing passenger cars on a global scale. We believe Hyundai has the potential to build Uber Air vehicles at rates unseen in the current aerospace industry, producing high quality, reliable aircraft at high volumes to drive down passenger costs per trip. Combining Hyundai’s manufacturing muscle with Uber’s technology platform represents a giant leap forward for launching a vibrant air taxi network in the coming years,” said Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate.