Off to The Future: Hyundai Unveils Flying Car Concept

Off to The Future: Hyundai Unveils Flying Car Concept
Hyundai Uber Flying Car
Off to The Future: Hyundai Unveils Flying Car Concept
Hyundai Uber Flying Car

Hyundai motors is known for its innovative and trailblazing technology. The South Korean manufacturer has been among the top automobile companies of the last decade. In every country that they have touched, their cars have competed with the most popular ones being sold in the region. Chung Mong Koo has been the CEO of the company since March 2014 sharing the position with Gap Han Yoon who has been the CEO since March 2012.

In India, Hyundai Motors India Limited is headed by Seon Sob Kim. They are the largest exporters of automobiles with a reach of eighty-eight countries. It is also the second-largest manufacturer of our country with almost five hundred leaders and more than thirteen hundred service points.

Hyundai motors have some of the most advanced research and development facilities across the world. The company produces state of the art products and always works towards finding new and better technology for the future. And this year, the future technology is precisely what was unveiled by the company at the CES 2020.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is known to be the world’s biggest electronics trade show. It is organised by the Consumer Tech Association (CTA) every year in Las Vegas. The very first instalment of the trade show was held in New York, June 1967, which saw a footfall of seventeen thousand five hundred attendees and over one hundred exhibitors. It has considerably grown over the years, and last year, the attendance reached approximately one hundred and eighty-two thousand. The CES was held twice a year from 1978 to 1994, once in January as the winter consumer electronics show in Las Vegas and once in June in Chicago as the summer consumer electronics show. The winter electronics show was successfully held each year in Las Vegas.

In contrast, the summer electronics show which seemed to lose popularity led the organisers to move the show around in different cities. The last summer show was held in Orlando, Florida in 1996 and in 1997, it was cancelled due to extremely low participation figures. In 1998, the summer show was removed for good, and the CES finally changed to an annual format as we know it now.

Hyundai motors took the stage at the 2020 consumer electronics show to present its vision of mobility for the cities of the future. The company unveiled its concept of Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) as part of the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) concept. They plan to reduce road congestion with the usage of airspace, which would increase the leisure time for the city commuters. Apart from PAV, they also proposed a Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV) which is a concept model featuring autonomous driving and is highly customizable, allowing for the possibilities to be limitless. The full-scale prototype of the flying car is now on display at the CES 2020, Las Vegas.

The auto manufacturer didn’t stop with the surprise there though; they further announced the deployment of the flying cars for Uber’s Air Taxi Services. Uber made the announcement of starting an air taxi service back in 2016 under the project name Uber-Elevate. The taxi company said that it would launch these services around 2023 in cities Dallas, Texas and Los Angeles, California.

The Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) has an egg-shaped Cabin with ten rotors distributed around it and two tilt rotors on its tail. The aircraft will take off and land vertically whereas it will transition to wing-borne lift in cruise.

This is an airborne vehicle with a five-seater layout and will have a top speed of two hundred and ninety kilometres per hour. It will rise to an altitude of two thousand feet which is five hundred to six hundred meters. The electric-powered aircraft is said to require only five to seven minutes of charging and Hyundai claims that it will have a range of a hundred kilometres between full charges.

The Purpose-Built Vehicle (PBV) is an eco-friendly way to enable first and last-mile mobility as it will help in transportation on the ground, to and from the landing and takeoff stations. It is also said to utilise Artificial Intelligence to find the best routes and travel in platoons.

This may all sound fantastical and looks great on paper, but there still hasn’t been any flying test – piloted or otherwise and the entire cost of unit ownership is yet to be determined. The technology is still in its developmental stage, and the company will face plenty of challenges – technical and regulatory before it is ready to introduce this offering in the market.

That being said, to introduce such a concept on a world stage is in itself is a big achievement. This is significant news for the automobile industry and if implemented well, can change the way we travel in the future. However, it has been about time that someone from the entire world industry addressed the flight aspect of future mobility and the fact that its Hyundai is pretty exciting news.