Hyundai and Uber want to fly you to work

Hyundai's air taxi is designed for four passengers and will fly in the Uber Elevate Network. (Hyundai)

At CES 2020 in Las Vegas, Hyundai and Uber announced an ambitious mobility innovation in the form of a full-scale air taxi concept model called the S-A1.

Instead of showing off new cars, Hyundai crammed the enormous air taxi model inside a large booth at CES, taking up a space roughly the size of basketball court.

The Hyundai vehicle will be 100% electric and provide a cruising speed of 180 mph. It will take off vertically with eight propellers and provide cabin room for four passengers and a pilot. Eventually, it is could be flown autonomously, the companies said.

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Executives said it designed to transform urban transportation by reducing a one hour commute to 10 minutes, although it could be used in rural areas.

Hyundai’s vision is to connect the taxi to hubs on the ground which also connect to special ground-based shuttles.

Uber Elevate has announced a goal of flight demonstrations in 2020 with Elevate commercially available to riders in 2023.

The CES announcement focused partly on safety of the vehicle with redundant engines in case one fails, and even a parachute design for landing the craft in emergencies. 

The full Las Vegas announcement event including videos of the air taxi are on the Hyundai web site.

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