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This could be our first look at Uber’s flying taxi of the future

Published Jan 7th, 2020 4:13PM EST
uber hyundai flying taxi
Image: Hyundai

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Well, CES 2020 is here, and as usual, there’s a whole lot of forward-looking concepts and plans and pipe dreams floating around the Las Vegas Convention Center. This year, one of the more interesting announcements comes from a joint partnership between Uber and Hyundai. But what on Earth could a car company and an on-demand ride-hailing app be working on together? A flying car, of course!

No, seriously, Uber and Hyundai just revealed what they say will be Uber Air Taxis. These vehicles, Uber says, will be the key to a new kind of ride-sharing network. Is the future finally here?

As you can see in the concept images, these flying taxies are no joke.

The vehicles are capable of vertical take-off and landing, allowing them to slip into small areas to pick up and drop off their passengers. According to Hyundai, the flying taxis have a cruising speed of up to 180 miles per hour and a max cruising altitude of up to 2,000 feet. The vehicles will have a range of around 60 miles. Each vehicle is capable of hauling four passengers.

“Hyundai is our first vehicle partner with experience of manufacturing passenger cars on a global scale,” Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, explains. “We believe Hyundai has the potential to build Uber Air vehicles at rates unseen in the current aerospace industry, producing high quality, reliable aircraft at high volumes to drive down passenger costs per trip. Combining Hyundai’s manufacturing muscle with Uber’s technology platform represents a giant leap forward for launching a vibrant air taxi network in the coming years.”

So, how long before we get to see these fancy flying taxis in the skies of major cities from coast to coast? We really have no idea. There are several hurdles both companies will need to scale before flying taxis are possible from a technological standpoint, not to mention the legal red tape that is sure to come with private aircraft speeding around bustling cities.

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