Hyundai Motor Company and Uber have announced a new partnership to develop Uber Air Taxis for a future aerial ride share network and unveiled a new full-scale aircraft concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Hyundai firm is the first automotive company to join the Uber Elevate initiative, bringing automotive-scale manufacturing capability and a track record of mass-producing electric vehicles.
Euisun Chung, executive vice chairman, Hyundai Motor Group, said, “Through the partnership with Uber, we will accelerate efforts to harness Hyundai’s businesses and technologies to deliver true freedom of mobility,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “We will innovate tirelessly to redefine the boundaries of mobility and provide quality time to customers.”
Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber, said, “Hyundai’s large scale manufacturing capabilities offer a major step forward for Uber Elevate. As Hyundai taps its automotive industry experience to mass produce air taxis, we will be able tomore quickly take Uber’s platform into the skies, expanding affordable and seamless transportation in cities around the world,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
The air vehicle concept Hyundai was created in part through Uber’s open design process, a NASA-inspired approach that jump-starts innovation by publicly releasing vehicle design concepts so any company can use them to innovate their air taxi models and engineering technologies.
Under the 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 vitalise 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.”
Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, said, “Hyundai is our first vehicle partner with experience of manufacturing passenger cars on a global scale. 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.”