Hyundai flying taxi, will the vehicle arrive sooner than expected?

Hyundai flying taxi, will the vehicle arrive sooner than expected?

Hyundai flying taxi

As is well known, the Korean carmaker has been working - for some time now - on what will be the first Hyundai flying taxi. Well, it would seem that the works are proceeding very well so that the company's project - in which General Motors is also collaborating - could ensure that the first flying taxis can arrive starting from 2025. However, for the GM management it seems to be more likely that the first flying vehicles of the Korean company will be ready no earlier than 2030. In fact, the Vice President with responsibility for the General Motors Innovation Team, Pamela Fletcher, said that "by that date, in addition to having put once the technology has been developed, all regulatory obstacles will also have been overcome ”.

By now, there are many startups involved in projects involving the production of small vertical take-off vehicles intended for the transport of people. Despite this, the Korean house Hyundai seems to be a step ahead of many others. Indeed Jose Munoz, as well as global COO and CEO of Hyundai North America, seems to have recently stated that the company is well on the way to developing flying taxis. Previously, Munoz himself had stated that the arrival of air taxis in the US was scheduled for 2028 but today, even more optimistic, he believes that the project could materialize, with the first vertical take-off vehicles, as early as 2025.

Hyundai's flying taxis - developed in collaboration with Uber - will be equipped with a battery-powered powertrain and will have a capacity of 5 or 6 people. The path that the vehicles will make will focus - in a particular way - on the routes that connect airports to large cities, so it will be possible to avoid city traffic arriving at their destination in a short time and with zero emissions. In this regard, Munoz stated that “in this market we see a great opportunity for growth and from the point of view of technology we have made really big steps forward”.

As mentioned above, in addition to Hyundai, many other companies are involved in similar projects. Among these, Toyota, Daimler and Geely. Furthermore, recently, Archer Aviation also presented a particular project called Maker. It is a hangar equipped with XR technology and which allows you to experience firsthand the experience of a virtual flight on what should be the new electric vehicle arriving in 2024. The vehicle in question will most likely be used initially in Los Angeles and Miami. Maneuver made possible thanks to the investment made by United Airlines, amounting to 1 billion dollars, and to a merger of almost 4 billion dollars together with Atlas Crest.

Obviously, one of the most positive aspects of these new flying vehicles, is linked to a strong reduction in CO2 emissions. However, there are many other aspects that should not be underestimated. In fact, by using flying taxis, it will be possible to significantly reduce the travel times of a journey, avoiding the annoying city traffic. As for travel costs, for example, a "trip" with the Maker - which will be able to reach a speed of 240 km / h reaching a maximum distance of 100 km - will most likely cost 3 euros per km. for each person . Therefore, each passenger would incur an expense of almost 50 euros to travel a distance of 6 minutes with the flying taxi, compared to 60 minutes (at least) by car.

Hyundai, GM serious about 'flying car' efforts

a man standing in a room: People walk past logo of Hyundai on car maker © Reuters/Maxim Shemetov People walk past logo of Hyundai on car maker's booth at 2016 Moscow International Auto Salon in Moscow

By Ben Klayman and Joseph White

DETROIT (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co and General Motors Co said on Monday they are pushing ahead with developing flying cars, with the South Korean company expressing optimism it could have an air-taxi service in operation as soon as 2025.

A GM executive said it could take until 2030 for air-taxi services to overcome technical and regulatory hurdles and reach commercialization.

The zero-emissions aircraft, which take off and land like helicopters and carry passengers and cargo, are being developed by a number of startups as well as aircraft makers and automakers, but they face a long road to profitability.

Hyundai is ahead of its previously stated timetable for rolling out air-mobility vehicles, Jose Munoz, the company's global chief operating officer, said in an interview broadcast on Monday at the Reuters Events Car of the Future conference.

Munoz, who is also CEO of Hyundai North America, previously said urban air taxis would be in operation at major U.S. airports by 2028 and perhaps earlier. He told Reuters on Monday it could possibly happen before 2025.

'We see this market as a significant growth opportunity,' Munoz said, adding he was 'very confident' of the technology's development.

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Hyundai is developing air taxis powered by electric batteries that can transport five to six people from highly congested urban centres to airports.

Other automakers developing flying cars either alone or with startups include Toyota Motor Corp, Daimler AG and China's Geely Automobile Holdings.

'I think that there's a long pathway here,' Pamela Fletcher, vice president of GM's Global Innovation team, said at the Reuters event. '2030 is probably a real commercial inflection point.'

She added: 'It's a very nascent space. There's a lot of work to be done on the regulatory side, as well as the actual technology side.'

In January, GM unveiled a flying Cadillac concept.

Morgan Stanley has estimated the total addressable market for urban air mobility could hit $1 trillion by 2040 and $9 trillion by 2050.

In 2019, Hyundai, which has a dedicated Urban Air Mobility Division led by Jaiwon Shin, a former NASA engineer, pledged to invest about $1.5 billion in urban air mobility by 2025.

Munoz said Hyundai sees its flying cars serving not only residential customers but also transporting commercial cargo.

Hyundai does not want to sell flying cars as a simple transaction, but believes it can develop services around the vehicles, Munoz said.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman and Joe White in Detroit and Hyunjoo Jin in Berkeley, Calif.; Editing by Diane Craft and Matthew Lewis)