By Sasha Lekach
Hyundai is working on flying taxis for Uber.
At CES in Las Vegas on Monday, the companies announced a prototype concept for a new plane meant to eventually pick up passengers who order flights through Uber Air’s flight-sharing service. Uber Air is supposed to take off from Dallas, Los Angeles, and Melbourne as soon as 2023. The service is meant for longer commutes.
“It’s taking Uber to the sky,” Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, which operates Uber Air, said at a CES event. As he explained, Uber isn’t about to start making air taxis. So Hyundai can build the crafts for them.
“The day when Hyundai air taxis are taking Uber passengers through the skies is closer than you think,” Allison said.
Hyundai’s idea for an e-VTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) is called the S-A1. It’s still a concept with no set production date, but Hyundai wants the craft to carry up to four Uber passengers. The plan is to eventually make the vehicles autonomous.
Hyundai’s “Personal Air Vehicle” is fully electric with a 60-mile range and is meant to fly at low altitudes, up to 2,000 feet. The vehicles will recharge at Uber’s skyports and will take under 10 minutes to juice up.
The craft will fly at up to 180 mph and Uber says it’ll cost about $100 for every 20 miles.
Just last month, Uber announced a partnership with a smaller startup, e-VTOL-maker Joby Aviation.
In the future, the skies could be filled with flying taxis.