U.S. ride-hailing firm Uber and South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai announced a partnership at CES 2020 that will see them develop air taxis by 2023.
“Hyundai is our first vehicle partner with experience of manufacturing passenger cars on a global scale,” says Eric Allison, head, Uber Elevate. “We believe Hyundai has the potential to build Uber Air vehicles at rates unseen in the current aerospace industry.”
Hyundai will be responsible for the manufacturing and deployment of the air vehicles, while Uber will operate the service, connect pilots with passengers and manage the transfer of clients to and from helipads.
The collaboration was revealed at the CES consumer electronics fair in Las Vegas, Nev. The duo said they hoped to launch the full service by 2023 and are aiming to begin testing this year.
The air vehicle designed and revealed by Hyundai is called a model S-A1, a 100 percent electric vehicle that will reach speeds of 180 miles per hour and travel distances of just more than 62 miles.
In July 2019, Uber began running a helicopter service to connect the central New York island of Manhattan with John F. Kennedy International Airport. Each trip costs around $200-$225. Each helicopter has two pilots as crew members that can accommodate up to five passengers.