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September 28, 2020

Hyundai forms partnership to speed up flying taxi programme

Hyundai Motor has joined forces with Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company and KT Corporation to take its Urban Air Mobility (UAM) programme to the next stage, including conducting test flights.

By bcusack

Hyundai Motor has joined forces with Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC), Hyundai Engineering & Construction Company and KT Corporation to take its Urban Air Mobility (UAM) programme to the next stage, including conducting test flights.

In January the automaker unveiled a personal air vehicle (PAV) concept at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Called S-A1, the 'flying taxi' is driven by multiple electrically driven rotors, giving it a range of 60 miles (100km) and a cruising speed of up to 180 mph at an altitude of up to 600 metres.

The four partners signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) earlier this month with the aim of launching a commercial flying taxi service by 2028. 

In June the South Korean government announced a national 'UAM Roadmap' outlining the steps needed to commercialise UAM vehicles in the country.

Hyundai Motor said it would align its UAM programme with the roadmap and would also join the Korean UAM Grand Challenge, the public private joint demonstration project that provides the basis for jointly studying the construction and operation of 'vertiports', or airports for UAM vehicles.

Hyundai would push forward with the development of the overall UAM vehicle business while IIAC would look to establish the required infrastructure and would study the feasibility of utilising UAMs vehicles as airport shuttles, Hyundai Construction would be responsible for building the vertiports and transit hubs and KT would install the communication infrastructure.

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Jaiwon Shin, executive vice president and head of Urban Air Mobility Division at Hyundai Motor, said: "The breadth and depth of this partnership shows what it will take to build a comprehensive UAM ecosystem to serve megacities like Seoul. 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 revolutioniSe transportation."

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