On Monday at CES, Hyundai and Uber announced their Uber Air partnership. Hyundai will manufacture electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) air taxis that carry up to four passengers. As part of a broader push for urban air mobility from UberElevate, Hyundai joins seven other aerospace companies working with Uber. Hyundai’s “Personal Air Vehicle,” the S-A1, will fly for up to 60 miles and recharge in under 10 minutes. Unlike recently announced partner Joby, however, Hyundai has not performed any flight tests.
The S-A1 — This eVTOL will fly at speeds up to 180 mph, costing about $100 per 20 miles. The 60-mile range should suffice for most metropolitan areas, and Joby has promised craft with at least a 150-mile range (Los Angeles to San Diego or Philadelphia to Washington D.C.). Definitely more expensive than an UberX, but luxury riders would likely enjoy getting across even the biggest cities in less than 20 minutes.
“We expect UAM to vitalize urban communities and provide more quality time to people,” said Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility Division. “We are confident that UberElevate is the right partner to make this innovative product readily available to as many customers as possible.”
The craft will fly between 1,000 and 2,000 feet above the ground and fully recharge in five to seven minutes. Considering all they had to offer at CES was a model, Uber and Hyundai have a lot of work to do to keep these spec promises. Uber has already set a deadline for itself, hoping to get commercial flights running in 2023.