Hyundai, GM eye lucrative flying cars market

Photo: EPA

The flying cars will become shortly part of regular traffic with major producers pushing hard to overcome competition in research and development, Reuters reported. Hyundai and General Motors both unveiled advanced plans with the Hyundai project expected to be introduced in air-taxi service by 2025. GM admitted it could take until 2030 to introduce flying cars as air-taxis for commercial usage by 2030.

The technology development is in line with the global drive to reduce carbon emissions. The zero-emissions air-taxis take off and land like helicopters and carry passengers and cargo. They are being developed by a number of startups as well as aircraft makers and automakers, but they face a long road to profitability.

Hyundai is ahead of its previously stated timetable for rolling out air-mobility vehicles, said Jose Munoz, the company's global chief operating officer. Munoz, who is also CEO of Hyundai North America, previously said urban air taxis would be in operation at major US airports by 2028 and perhaps earlier. He elaborated on Monday it could possibly happen before 2025.

"We see this market as a significant growth opportunity," Munoz said, adding he was "very confident" of the technology's development. Hyundai is developing air taxis powered by electric batteries that can transport five to six people from highly congested urban centers to airports. Other automakers developing flying cars either alone or with startups include Toyota Motor, Daimler and Geely. "I think that there's a long pathway here," Pamela Fletcher, vice president of GM's Global Innovation team said. "2030 is probably a real commercial inflection point." In January, GM unveiled a flying Cadillac concept. Morgan Stanley has estimated the total addressable market for urban air mobility could hit $1 trillion by 2040 and $9 trillion by 2050. In 2019, Hyundai, which has a dedicated Urban Air Mobility Division led by Jaiwon Shin, a former NASA engineer, pledged to invest about $1.5 billion in urban air mobility by 2025.

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