The concept of moving through the air as a mode of transportation has long been a dream of many enterprises for quite some time now. It is no shock that companies are trying to break the barrier and come up with a way of having an air taxi that is fast and reliable at the same time is low at cost. One brand that has shown ample amount of interest in this and has been working with many other companies for over 2 years now to have their dream of becoming the first air taxi company in the world is UBER.
Over the past couple of years, UBER has partnered with 3 or more brands to make the air taxi a viable mode of transportation at an affordable price. Thanks to Hyundai, this dream is closer than ever. Hyundai and UBER reveal full-size air taxi prototype at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020. This partnered venture calls their air taxi as S-A1, where Hyundai is said to mass manufacture the product. In contrast, UBER with their global dominance in car taxi service will take care of the execution front. UBER trying to the first company to bring air mode of taxi service and Hyundai who is looking to evolve into something more than just car manufacture found the need for each other and things are looking very promising.
S-A1 air taxi
The design of the all-new air taxi S-A1 is something that came straight out of Avatar the movie. It is so futuristic and at the same time effective by all means. Hyundai called this aircraft as an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vehicle. As per the design, this S-A1 has multiple small rotors to carry out the eVTOL electrical vertical takeoff and landing manoeuvre to eliminate the need for a runway. This technology is something that Hyundai has been working for quite some time now and are looking keen to implement this in their new air taxi.
The small rotors have other key features as well like being able to manage even if one rotor is not working and since the rotors are All small the motor that is required to run this is also small unlike that of a helicopter. Small motor means less noise, this is also intended to reduce the noise while zooming over the air in a city. Since this is an electric vehicle, the noise factor is reduced to a great extent.
The S-A1 air taxi is said to be as fast as 180 miles per hour and can travel at an altitude of 1000 – 2000 feet above sea level. On one charge it can also travel about 60 miles which is great for in-city transportation and also makes it the fastest mode of transportation.
How does this air taxi service work?
As of the initial plans, these air taxies will be stationed at a HUB where people are taken to on buses leaving from popular locations like hotels or parks and more. They call this the Purpose Built Vehicle PUB. Once you board into one of the PUB’s you will be taken to the HUB, from where you can board on to the air taxi and reach your destination.
Hyundai plans to run these air vehicle with a pilot at the initial stages. When things become more fluid and easy to access, they are planning to make these auto-piloted air taxies. This means that 4 passengers can travel along with some small luggage with ease once everything is set and finalized.
It is believed UBER is following the footsteps of NASA where they release the prototype to see and analyze how the public and others come up with smart and innovative ideas to improve the design that they have in their hand. If things are better, they are likely to adopt and improve the design to even better scales.
Making a movie like this is a huge step for mankind. If air transport can be made so easy, reliable, and at a lower price, it would only help with making the rate of development in every sector to a great extent. Hyundai initially wanted to unravel its UAM technology to the world as a finished product by the year 2023. But now thanks to this collaboration with UBER things just got boosted.
How are we benefited?
When two powerful companies working on a common goal come together with the result just might surprise us. And this is one such initiative. If everything goes according to plan, and both the companies can achieve their targets from their side of the business, we might actually have affordable air taxies even before 2023. By this Hyundai would have achieved their goal of having the UAM as an actual product in the market. At the same time, UBER would become the first company on the planet to get air taxies to the world and have achieved their goal as well. Overall it is a win-win situation to Hyundai, to UBER and for all us common people who are going to be benefited by this revolutionary innovation.