Uber, Hyundai Will Launch Air Taxis For Urban Mobility By 2023: This Is How They Will Fly & Reduce Pollution!
American multinational ride-hailing company, Uber Technologies Inc and South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor have teamed up to develop electric air taxis, joining the global race to make small self-flying cars to ease urban congestion.
How Did This Happen?
As per the reports, the Global players like Germany’s Daimler, China’s Geely Automobile and Japan’s Toyota have all unveiled investments in startups that aim to deploy electric flying cars capable of vertical takeoff and landing.
Although, there are big technological and regulatory hurdles to the plans.
While Uber and Hyundai, for instance, gave widely different timelines for commercialisation, underlying these challenges.
What Does Uber Has To Say?
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the head of Uber Elevate Eric Allison said “We’ve been making steady progress towards a goal of launching Uber Air by 2023,”.
The Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai, Euisun Chung, expects the commercialisation of urban air mobility service in 2028, saying it takes time for laws and systems to be in place.
As per the reports, Hyundai is the first carmaker to join Uber’s air taxi project, which also counts Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences among its partner firms.
What Is The Plan?
According to plan, Hyundai will produce and deploy the vehicles while Uber will provide aerial ride-share services.
Already, Uber has partnered with eight companies on its air taxi project, however, acknowledged it would be “unrealistic” to expect all its partners to go to market at the same time.
The Communications Manager at Uber, Sarah Abboud said “Our plans for our limited commercial operations in 2023 will likely involve other partners,”.
What Features Will This self-flying Electric Car Have?
Hyundai will be unveiling a concept electric aircraft developed with Uber at CES, with the self-flying electric car designed to carry up to four passengers with a pilot and fly on trips of up to 60 miles (100 km).
The Head of Urban Air Mobility Division at Hyundai Motor, Shin Jai-won, said “The overall cost to produce and operate UAM (urban air mobility) vehicles should be really low enough for everyone to enjoy the freedom to fly,”.
What Does The Future Hold?
As per the information, the Air taxis come in several shapes and sizes – electric motors replace jet engines, and aircraft have rotating wings and, in some cases, rotors in place of propellers.
With these implementations, the urban flight market is expected to exceed the current number of commercial airplanes flying around the world – about 25,000, Hyundai’s Shin, a former NASA engineer hired by the automaker last year, estimated, without giving any timeframe.
Hyundai pledged to invest 1.8 trillion won (1.2 billion pounds) last year, in what it called “urban air mobility” by 2025.
Also, the American Aircraft company Boeing has said that it is working with Volkswagen’s sports car brand, Porsche, to develop a concept electric flying vehicle that can transport people in urban areas.