Uber and Hyundai Take to the Skies with the New Air Taxi

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Photo courtesy of https://quotecatalog.com

Isaac Mintz

The Consumer Electronic Show, also known as CES, has set precedent for wowing consumers and techies alike. This year’s annual Vegas show, Hyundai and Uber announced a partnership to produce an all-electric air taxi.

The taxi, named the SA-1, should be expected in 2023 and will hit metropolitan regions by 2028, Hyundai said.

The aircraft will be implemented as part of a ride-sharing system, featuring a Hub (taxi station) and a network of electric vehicles called Purpose Built Vehicles, or PBVs, that allow for transportation to and from the Hub. The program will utilize the Uber Air ride-sharing program, which is expected to start in 2023.

Each plane features four seats and a pilot — for now. Hyundai is charting the way for a future of fully autonomous aircrafts.

Hyundai is promising flights of 60 miles at 180 mph, lesser than the market originally anticipated. It is apparent that the needs of the market have evolved, with an expected primary usage of shorter distance flights, reported CNN. The numbers vary depending on flight speed and frequency of recharging. The SA-1 can reach altitudes between 1,000-2,000 feet.

Experts say the proposal for the SA-1 to become available in 2023 is a bit aggressive and should be expected in the next 10 years. Difficulties arise with newly needed regulations in addition to the mass-production of such aircrafts. For now, Uber is offering helicopter rides in New York.