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Uber Joins Forces With Hyundai Motor For Flying Taxis

Uber

To join the burgeoning rush to roll out flying cars in large cities, Uber and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor are joining forces to create air taxis.

The four-passenger, all-electric passenger air taxis will be piloted at first but will reportedly become autonomous over time. A prototype was unveiled at Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, the Financial Times reported.

Hyundai is aiming to catch up with larger competitors in technologies that are merging as consumers are gaining a higher preference for access to ownership, which FT points out is a trend that has led to a drop in car sales globally.

“Our vision of urban air mobility will transform the concept of urban transportation,” said Jaiwon Shin, head of the urban air mobility division of Hyundai, according to FT.

The flying taxi itself is meant to vertically take off and land, with a 180 mph top speed and a 60-mile range.

“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 Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, according to FT.

Uber reportedly views the service as a method to get consumers out of cars that are privately owned and into its shared vehicle network. But the air taxi regulatory landscape is still very much not defined. The air taxi market, for its part, is forecasted to be worth $1.5 trillion a year by 2040, per a Morgan Stanley report last year.

In separate news, reports surfaced in August that China’s EHang will create a network of air taxis as well as transports in Guangzhou with a pilot for citywide development. The company is geared toward creating as well as deploying autonomous freight and passenger vehicles.

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