South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai and Uber, the US ride-hailing firm, have entered into a partnership to develop air taxis by 2023.
As part of the new agreement, Hyundai will be responsible for the manufacturing and deployment of the air vehicles, while Uber will be operating the service, connect pilots with passengers and manage the transfer of clients to and from helipads.
Eric Allison, Head of Uber Elevate, said, “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,” Allison added.
The partnership between Hyundai and Uber was announced at the CES consumer electronics fair in Las Vegas, Nev. Both companies expect to unveil the full service by 2023, with an aim to start testing this year.
The new air vehicle, which is designed and revealed by Hyundai, is called a model S-A1. This is a 100% electric vehicle that will reach speeds of 180 miles per hour and travel distances of just more than 62 miles.
Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Division, stated, “Our vision of Urban Air Mobility will transform the concept of urban transportation. 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.”