Uber Elevate Hyundai to the sky

Announced at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, America was the partnership in between Hyundai Motor Company and Uber, the partnership aims to create an aerial rideshare network with Hyundai’s full-scale aircraft concept.

While both companies will be involved with creating infrastructure concepts to support take-off and landing, Hyundai will be responsible for the development and production of the air vehicles while Uber will oversee airspace support services, connections to ground transportation, and customer interfaces. Hyundai is the first company to embrace the new Elevate programme and through Uber’s, open design process arrived at the first concept.

“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,” Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Division.

“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 for launching a vibrant air taxi network in the coming years,” Eric Allison, Head of Uber Elevate.

Utilizing a popular process used by NASA, the Elevate initiative and designs were made public to inspire recommendations for the PAV (Personal Air Vehicle), the result being the S-A1 concept revealed at CES. The Hyundai S-A1 will reach cruising speeds up to 290 km/h and will cruise at an altitude of around 300 to 600 m above ground completing trips of up to 100 km.

The S-A1 will be a fully electric vehicle and will require in between five and seven minutes of charging during peak hours. The electric propulsion will distribute its power to multiple propellers which reduces noise pollution and decreases points of failure. The propellers will allow the pilot to perform vertical take-off and landing with future models becoming fully autonomous. The S-A1 will accommodate four passengers with enough space for personal luggage.

The vision will ultimately result in infrastructures known as the Hub where the PAV’s will come together and recharge while simultaneously creating communities of diverse people connecting.

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