Are we getting closer to that Jetsons future? The one like in the Fifth-Element with flying cars and stacked corridors of fantastical flying machines? We may actually be on the cusp, especially if you listen to Hyundai CEO for European operations Michael Cole.
Partnered with Uber, he expects flying taxis before 2030 according to Dezeen. “We think that by the latter part of this decade certainly,” Cole told the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders conference. “Urban air mobility will offer a great opportunity to free up congestion in cities, to help with emissions, whether that’s intra-city mobility in the air or whether it’s even between cities.”
Flying cars, robotics, and future infrastructure projects are Hyundai’s charge
Hyundai is putting a lot of development money into flying cars, robotics, and future infrastructure projects. All of those functions are necessary for the future of mobility according to Hyundai. “It’s part of our future solution of offering innovative, smart mobility solutions,” says Cole.
Last year Hyundai showed off a model of a flying car at the 2020 CES Show in Las Vegas. It falls into the category of Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility direction. The force of this push centers around its electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL).
Lightweight materials and seating for five are just two of the features of the short-flight aircraft. It is meant to hop short distances from one city to the next as a commuter vehicle. That is the main push for assimilating travelers and eVTOLs into society.
Germany’s Lilium and even Boeing are developing passenger drones
Other companies like Germany’s Lilium are experimenting with manned eVTOLs right now. Even Boeing is planning for a self-piloted passenger drone. Its first running prototype was finished in 2019, so the company is one of the numerous groups moving efforts forward on the leading edge of this technology.
Lilium is even more enthusiastic about what is being developed, saying it expects its flying car to be in service by 2025. It will be an all-electric air taxi service flying in multiple cities. And Uber is launching Uber Air as early as 2023.
Are flying cars the answer to gridlock and overcrowding?
Whether you call these a variation of a helicopter or a revolution, for society to get around congested cities in the 21st century, we need something like this. Gridlock and overcrowding aren’t going away. In spite of the added highways, freeways, and better designs of more modern byways.
While it may seem fantastical, we’re in the midst of a seachange in transportation. The future is almost here.