Uber, by air?
Believe it, because the Hyundai Motor Co. is hard at work partnering with the ride-share company to develop and mass-produce air taxis.
The development of an airborne version is the next task for the company’s Uber Elevate network. According to TechCrunch.com, Uber has already brought on such familiar aviation names as Bell, Embraer, Joby Aviation, Pipistrel Aircraft, Karem Aircraft, Jaunt Air Mobility and Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences.
Uber has also entered into a real estate partnerships with Hillwood Properties, Related, Macquire, Oaktree and Signature.
Hyundai made the announcement Monday ahead of the wildly popular and hugely influential tech trade show, CES 2020, held in Las Vegas. The automaker also unveiled a four-seat aircraft concept called SA-1, created in part through Uber’s open design process.
For its part, Uber will handle airspace support services, connections to ground transportation and customer service. Hyundai will produce and fly the vehicles.
“Hyundai is our first vehicle partner with experience of manufacturing passenger cars on a global scale,” Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, told TechCrunsh. “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.”
Uber Elevate says flight demonstrations will commence in 2020 with commercial availability targeted for 2023. The current concept vehicle will be designed to cruise up to 180 miles per hour, rise to about 1,000 to 2,000 feet above sea level, and operate for about 60 miles.
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