Hyundai Motor Group's Urban Air Mobility division announced plans to develop an eVTOL aircraft in January 2020.
- September 7, 2020
South Korea's Hyundai unveiled its S-A1 eVTOL personal air vehicle program on January 7, 2020, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. At the same time, rideshare group Uber announced that the car manufacturer is now a partner in its plans to launch an air-taxi network called Uber Air.
Hyundai's engineering team aims to have a full-scale prototype ready to start test flights in 2023, with the company targeting type certification in 2028. The four-seat aircraft will initially be piloted, but might subsequently fly autonomously, at which point passenger capacity could increase to six. The all-electric S-A1 is expected to be able to fly up to around 60 miles (100 km) at speeds of up to 180 mph (290 km/h) while cruising at between 1,000 and 2,000 feet. A key design goal, as per Uber's specifications, is for the aircraft to be able to be fully recharged within five to seven minutes.
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Hyundai has committed $1 .5 billion to the S-A1 program, as part of a much larger $52 billion bet on electric vehicles and "disruptive mobility technology." The company has no direct experience of aerospace technology but is in the process of significantly ramping up its engineering capability. According to Uber, the automobile manufacturer's long experience in lean manufacturing will allow it to build the planned eVTOL aircraft at a significantly lower cost than most rivals.
However, as of January 2020, it had yet to define the design for the S-A1's propulsion system and it clearly has a lot of work to do to complete the design and build a full-scale prototype by 2023.
Hyundai Motor Group has committed $1.5 billion to develop the S-A1 eVTOL aircraft as part of a wider $52 billion investment in electric vehicles and mobility technology.