Auto manufacturer Hyundai has collaborated with Uber to create a flying taxi, called the S-A1, which looks both futuristic and realistic compared to the other concepts seen at CES 2020.
Hyundai is the first automaker that’ll join the Uber Elevate program, bringing the ability to mass produce and properly track aircrafts.
The South Korean company will focus on making and distributing the S-A1 while Uber handles airspace support services, customer interfaces and ways to connect with ground transport through a ride space network.
Both companies are also working together to iron out the aircraft’s take-off and landing conceptual features.
“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,” said head of Uber Elevate Eric Allison. “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.”
The S-A1 is designed to accelerate up to 290 km/h and can fly 1,000 to 2,000 feet in the air. The air taxi is purely electric and can travel a distance of 100 km, only taking five to seven minutes to recharge.
It’s also made to take off vertically like a helicopter, with wings that’ll transform for landing and airborne cruises.
The aircraft’s interior holds four passenger seats without having a middle seat so there’s ample space to place bags without inconveniencing other riders.
For now, the S-A1 will need a pilot to operate the vehicle but it’s planned to be autonomous in the future.
Besides the goal of creating a suitable air taxi system, Hyundai also hopes these concepts can improve this technology as a whole, as other companies are free to use these designs to better their own vehicles.