Hyundai and Uber unveiled in January the Hyundai S-A1 Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) electric VTOL aircraft concept
With a range of 60 miles and a speed of about 150kt, the air taxi aircraft is designed to dramatically cut transit times in large metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Tokyo or London.
Uber, which has been putting significant efforts for years into the development of air taxis, has chosen Hyundai in order to build a large air fleet and reduce average trip cost.
Uber’s Eric Allison highlighted that “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”.
According to 2017 data, Hyundai is the 3rd largest car manufacturer in the world, with an output of more than 7 million vehicles globally.
The partnership between Hyundai and Uber was announced at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, a key gathering of the global tech and electronics industry.
The partnership will see Hyundai build the aircraft, while Uber will essentially manage the flights by providing customer interfaces, airspace support services and connections to ground transportation.
Crucially, for an electric vehicle that is expected to operate frequent flights, the Hyundai S-A1 Personal Air Vehicle will need only seven minutes to recharge its batteries.
Hyundai intends the aircraft to be operated initially by a pilot, with a goal of autonomous flight in the future.