Uber and Hyundai have announced a new partnership to develop Uber Air Taxis for a future aerial ride share network.
The two companies unveiled a new full-scale aircraft concept, the S-A1, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week to launch the venture.
It can cruise at speeds of up to 180mph at an altitude of 1,000-2,000 feet. The fully electric vehicle has a range of 60 miles and can recharge in five to seven minutes.
Initially the vehicles will be piloted, but are expected to become autonomous in time.
Hyundai is the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative, bringing automotive-scale manufacturing capability and experience of mass-producing electric vehicles.
In this 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.
“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.”
The S-A1 utilises innovative design processes to optimise electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for aerial ridesharing purposes.
“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.