Global carmakers Hyundai and General Motors (GM) are serious about developing flying cars with the South Korean company optimistic to have the air taxi service to be operational in 2025. While GM said it will take another nine years for their air taxi service to be a reality.
During the Reuters Events Car of the Future conference, Hyundai’s global chief operating officer, Jose Munoz said that “Hyundai is ahead of the schedule for air mobility vehicle launches. We see this market as a significant growth opportunity.”
Mr. Munoz, who is also CEO of Hyundai North America, previously said urban air taxis would operate at major US airports in 2028 and possibly earlier.
Hyundai is developing an electric battery-powered air taxi that can transport five to six people from the heavily congested city center to the airport. Hyundai has a dedicated Urban Air Mobility Division led by Jaiwon Shin, a former NASA engineer. The Korean carmaker has already pledged to invest about $1.5 billion in urban air mobility by 2025.
During CES 2021 event held in January, General Motors had exhibited a futuristic flying Cadillac, a self-driving vehicle that takes off and lands vertically and carries the passenger above the streets and through the air.
“I think there’s a long way to go here, 2030 is probably a real commercial turning point. This is a very new space. There is a lot of work to be done on the regulatory side, as well as the actual technology side,” said Pamela Fletcher, vice president of GM’s Global Innovation team, at the Reuters event.
The zero-emissions aircraft, which takes off and land like helicopters and carry both passengers and cargo, is being developed by a number of startups as well as aircraft manufacturers and car manufacturers, but they face a long road to profitability. Other automakers developing flying cars, either alone or with startups, include Toyota, Daimler AG and China’s Geely Automobile Holdings.