Hyundai Motor Company said on Thursday that it has signed a collaboration agreement with South Korea’s capital Seoul to build an urban air mobility (UAM) ecosystem.
The company claimed it will commercialize UAM by 2028, at an industry event held in Seoul. It will collaborate with Seoul to make UAM socially acceptable, form a vision for a landing station for air taxis (called vertiport) and build a long-term road map for the sector, the South Korean automobile giant said.
Hyundai said it hired in doctor Shin Jai-won, who previously worked at Nasa in the US, in 2019 for its UAM efforts. The automobile giant is also planning to form a subsidiary in Washington DC to foster its UAM business.
Hyundai director Song Jae-yong, who is leading the UAM project, touted the conglomerate’s 37 manufacturing facilities in ten countries, its subsidiaries in component, infrastructure and finance, as well as its technologies in electric and hydrogen fuels as its advantages in building a UAM business.
Hyundai will offer a safe, noiseless, cost-effective and customer-centric UAM service provider, the director said.
Other automobile companies such as Toyota was also investing in the sector, Song said.
Cities will be reformed from vertiports that will be built to support UAM, the director claimed.
Hyundai was also in talks with officials at Los Angeles to commercialize UAM, Song said. It will also demonstrate a vertiport prototype at the UK this year, he said.
Hyundai believes that air taxis business will start within cities going forward, Song said.
The start of these will be transportation service for 30 to 70km from Gimpo International Airport to the cities, Song said.
UAM services will also be used to deliver fresh foods or blood in health emergencies, he said. Areas where it is difficult to build airports or ports will also provide opportunities for UAM, he added.