Hyundai and General Motors have said they are pressing ahead with the development of flying cars, with the South Korean company expressing optimism that an air taxi service could be operational as soon as 2025.
A GM executive said it could take up to 2030 for air taxi services to overcome technical and regulatory hurdles and reach commercialization.
Zero-emissions aircraft, which take off and land like helicopters and carry passengers and cargo, are being developed by a number of start-ups as well as aircraft and automakers. But they face a long road to profitability.
Jose Munoz, CEO of the company’s global operations, said: “Hyundai is ahead of the previously announced schedule for the introduction of air mobility vehicles.
Munoz, who is also the CEO of Hyundai North America, added earlier: The air taxi will be operating at major US airports by 2028 and possibly sooner.
He said that could happen before 2025. We see this market as a great growth opportunity. We are very confident in the development of technology.
Hyundai is developing an electric battery-powered air taxi. Which can transport six people from overcrowded urban centers to airports.
Other automakers developing flying cars either on their own or with start-up companies include Toyota, Daimler, and China’s Geely.
“I think there’s a long way to go here,” said Pamela Fletcher, vice president of the global innovation team at GM. The year 2030 may be a real commercial inflection point.
“It’s a very nascent space,” she added. There is a lot of work to be done on the regulatory side, as well as the actual technology side.
In January, General Motors revealed the Cadillac Flying model.
Morgan Stanley has estimated that the aggregate addressable market for urban air mobility could reach $1 trillion by 2040 and $9 trillion by 2050.
Hyundai, which has a division dedicated to urban air mobility led by a former NASA engineer, pledged in 2019 to invest about $1.5 billion in urban air mobility by 2025.
In addition, Munoz said, Hyundai sees its flying cars serving resident customers and also transporting commercial goods.
“Hyundai does not want to sell flying cars as a simple business deal,” he added. But it believes it can develop services around vehicles.