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Urban air mobility is the aim of four companies that have banded together to push along the latest frontier in transportation. Hyundai Motor Company, Incheon International Airport Group, Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company, and KT Corporation, are now working closely to speed along Hyundai’s flying car development and testing. They want test flights to begin as soon as possible. 

The goal is for Hyundai to build these aerial vehicles and also to commercialize urban air mobility before 2028. Hyundai’s first flying car concept was a feature of the 2020 CES show this year. That concept featured Hyundai’s eVTOL technology which stands for “Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing.” Hyundai feels this is what is necessary to function in a dense urban environment. 

Even the Korean government is getting into the urban air mobility act

Hyundai flying taxis
Hyundai flying taxis conceptual sketch | Hyundai

Now, even the Korean government is getting into the act. It announced the Korean UAM Roadmap. Part of this is the UAM Grand Challenge, which is a combined study delineating both the construction and operation of vertiports. 

How this will be structured is for Hyundai to develop the commercial urban air business plan. IIAC will define the infrastructure and conduct a feasibility study for utilizing these vehicles as airport taxis or shuttles. Hyundai Construction will build the vertiports and transit hubs connecting it all to the current public transportation infrastructure. Finally, KT Corporation will establish the communications infrastructure. It will also define and establish a business case for all of this combined as a mobility service. 

“The breadth and depth of this partnership show what it will take to build a comprehensive UAM ecosystem to serve megacities like Seoul,” said Hyundai Motor Urban Air Mobility division boss Jaiwon Shin to CarScoops.

“Building a robust infrastructure and business model is just as important as developing vehicles”

“Building a robust infrastructure and business model is just as important as developing innovative UAM vehicles. This partnership demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to facilitating progress for humanity by ushering in a new era of urban air mobility that will revolutionize transportation.”

The hope was that there would be flying taxis in time for the Los Angeles 2024 Summer Olympics. Currently, As dense an urban area as LA is, gridlock is a daily occurrence. Flying taxis are the only way the city thinks it can function and still transport Olympic participants and spectators from one event to the next. But as of now, Hyundai is saying nothing like this will be attempted until later in this decade.

Hyundai flying taxis
Hyundai flying taxis conceptual sketch | Hyundai

Hyundai Really Thinks Flying Taxis Will Take Off

Based on LA’s original needs and what Korea is planning, it looks like flying vehicles will seat six or eight passengers. New Hampshire has added laws to its books that allow for flying cars to operate within the state. It is the first state to approve of flying cars. So right now, a number of cities are poised to jump into air mobility once it looks to be viable. And several companies are developing vehicles to function within the mobility realm. The future is almost here. 

Updated: 6/12/2023