Hyundai and Uber are teaming up to mass-produce a flying taxi that’s set to be a game-changer for transportation in the region, and you could check out the prototype at the ongoing GITEX Technology Week.
Uber has been quite a talked about brand in the UAE lately, especially after acquiring Dubai’s homegrown ride-hailing app, Careem for a whopping $3.1 Billion (AED 11b), and they’re making headlines again as they’re venturing into flying taxis that could revolutionize the way we commute.
Earlier this year, Uber announced a future aerial ride-share network collaboration with Hyundai and rolled out their first prototype, named ‘S-A1’ at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The Korean automaker is responsible for producing and deploying air vehicles, while Uber’s tech counterpart, Uber Elevate provides airspace support services, connections to ground transportation, and customer interfaces through an aerial rideshare network.
What’s more, the duo are experimenting with infrastructure concepts to support take-off and landing for the fleet.
“Hyundai is our first vehicle partner with experience of manufacturing passenger cars on a global scale. We believe Hyundai has the potential to build Uber Air vehicles at rates unseen in the current aerospace industry, producing high quality, reliable aircraft at high volumes to drive down passenger costs per trip. Combining Hyundai’s manufacturing muscle with Uber’s technology platform represents a giant leap forward for launching a vibrant air taxi network in the coming years.”Eric Allison-Head of Uber Elevate
Until now, S-A1 is designed for a cruising speed up to 290 km/h, capable of touching altitudes of around 1,000-2,000 feet above the ground, and to fly trips up to 60 miles (100 km). The initial phase will require the vehicles to be piloted, but the collaboration expects to transform the S-A1 into an autonomous cab.
Photograph credit: Hyundai
Hot on the heels of the Las Vegas debut, Hyundai-Uber’s S-A1 proved to be quite the show-stopper at the GITEX Technology Week, grabbing eyeballs at the Etisalat Pavilion. The telecom mogul claims “with 5G, this is a great use case that can enjoy the benefits of the ultra-low latency and high speeds of this superior network.”
While the S-A1 awaits approvals in the UAE, it could be a perfect fit for Dubai, in line with the emirate’s vision to make 25% of its transportation autonomous by 2030.
In addition to the Hyundai-Uber S-A1, visitors can also check out the futuristic BMW Vision iNEXT, and BMW Vision DC Roadster at the Etisalat Pavilion.
(Featured photograph credit: GITEX Technology Week)