Its no secret that Uber has been eyeing the sky for future of personal transportation and what you see here is a baby step towards that vision. Folks, this is the Hyundai S-A1, a destined-for-ridesharing personal air vehicle (PAV).
Hyundai S-A1 is an electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft which Uber Elevate will use to realize its grand plan. Mind you, this ain’t no talks only. Hyundai actually brought along a full-scale model this flying taxi to CES 2020.
Yeah. They are uber serious about this flying urban transportation. Personally, I am skeptical. The noise and downwash will be problems that will be hard to deal with as some of our forebears had proven. Then again, what do I know, right?
Anywho, as far as the aircraft is concerned, it is nothing over-the-top. It is the V-22 Osprey style setup where the main vertical lift rotors (including the tail’s) will transit from vertical lift to forward thrust rotors.
Hyundai S-A1 eVTOL Flying Taxi is designed to cruise at up to 180 miles an hour (290 km/h) at around 1,000-2,000 feet (300-600 meters), and makes air shuttle of up to 60 miles (100 kilometers).
It will be 100 percent electric, naturally. It will use a so-called distributed electric propulsion which will required just 5-7 minutes for recharging.
S-A1 features a multiple rotors set which includes smaller rotors that not only up the safety by decreasing any single point of failure, but also reduces noise relative to large rotor and combustion engine aircraft.
The plan was, S-A1 eVTOL Flying Taxi will be manned initially and subsequently transit to become autonomous. Finally, the aircraft is designed to accommodate up to 4 passengers with ample space for personal bag or backpack.
During the presentation at CES, Hyundai also took the opportunity to reveal its vision of future urban transportation which integrates the electric PAV, a new ground transportation called Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV), and a new infrastructure concept known as the Hub. Don’t need to think too much of it. Just think of it as a mini airport within the cities because, that is Hub really is.
Here’s the 360-view of the Hyundai Uber S-A1 eVTOL:
All images courtesy of Hyundai Motor Company.