In the future, it might not be any regular Hyundai vehicle that will pick you up when you book an Uber in the US. Instead, it could be this electric quad-rotor aircraft developed by the South Korean automaker. Called the S-A1 Urban Air Taxi, the aircraft concept was recently revealed at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as a future ride share network.
The aircraft was developed by Hyundai together with Uber and will ferry people around cities in a faster way. In the partnership, Hyundai will produce and deploy the concept. Meanwhile, Uber will provide airspace support services, connections to ground transportation, and customer interfaces through an aerial rideshare network.
“Our vision of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) will transform the concept of urban transportation. We expect UAM to vitalize urban communities and provide more quality time to people. We are confident that Uber Elevate is the right partner to make this innovative product readily available to as many customers as possible,” said Jaiwon Shin, head of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility Division.
As mentioned earlier, the S-A1 will be fully electric and have an operating range of around 100 km. Design-wise, the compact aircraft will seat five people, including the pilot. It also features vertical take-off and landing capabilities, making it easier to use in urban environments. Once it reaches cruising altitude, however, the propellers tilt to face forward, similar to traditional airplanes. In this mode, the aircraft is capable of cruising at 290 km/h. Interestingly, Hyundai claims it will only take 5 to 7 minutes for the aircraft to recharge.
Considering Hyundai is shifting into a mobility company and already has an Urban Air Mobility Division, we might see the S-A1 aircraft in production sometime in the near future. For now, however, the South Korean marque has not disclosed when a production model will debut.