The Strategist

Hyundai to build flying taxis

10/02/2019 - 08:08

Hyundai has created a new division, which will develop technology for urban aircraft.

Development of the air vehicles will be carried on by a special division of the company. The exact sum of financing is still unknown. Previously, the firm announced readiness to send up to KRW 2.4 trl  ($ 2 bln) in 2019 to prompt “futuristic” projects in automobile transport.

Jaiwon Shin will head the unit. For about 30 years he was engaged in aviation research at NASA. In addition, Shin worked at the White House, was co-chair of the NASA Research Executive Committee, and chair of the International Aviation Research Forum.

The division will take on development of basic technologies that should make the South Korean automaker a leader in the urban air transportation market. The volume of this market, according to Hyundai forecasts, will reach $ 1.5 trln in the next twenty years. The project aims to solve the problem of high traffic loads in major cities in the world.

Hyundai will have to face competitors in this area. Both Boeing and Uber plan to commence flights as early as in 2020. Hyundai itself reports that engineers still need to solve plenty of technical problems, such as insufficiently capacious or too large batteries.