Hyundai and Uber Unveil Flying Car At Consumer Electronics Show In Las Vegas

Published on January 6, 2020

Uber has long been teasing the idea for a flying ride share car (nope, not a helicopter) that may come into fruition sooner than you may think. The company has invested heavily into the development of a flying taxi that can easily and safely transport people from one place to another, but until now there has been little information revealed about the machine—which already has ports being built for it in places like Miami.

Hyundai and Uber unveiled the prototype for a new flying car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday. Hyundai began teasing the concept of the flying car last month, but until today it hadn’t confirmed that it would be partnering with Uber to bring flying taxis into fruition.

Flying cars have been teased for years now.

Today, the prototype for the flying car is on display for attendees at CES to check out and get familiar with. The project, called Uber Elevate, was unveiled back in 2016 but little about the program has been revealed since.

Much like Amazon’s drone delivery program, the reality seemed too far in the future to really comprehend—but the future is here, and you could likely be hailing an Uber Elevate to the club next time you’re in a city like Miami or New York (I mean, if you have the cash).

When Will It Launch?

Unfortunately we’re still a couple of years from seeing air taxis become a reality. Hyundai’s prototype, which sits on the floor of the CES expo in Las Vegas, reveals that the future flying cars will look like a helicopter-drone hybrid and come with a cruising speed of 180 mph, with the ability to seat five people safely.

The machine uses smaller motors which will keep it from being as loud as a traditional helicopter, and it will fly at around 1,000-2,000 feet (for reference, One World Trade in New York City sits at around 1,700 feet).

Hyundai and Uber still have a long way to go before the vehicles are available to the public. Neither company has conducted test flights yet, but the presence of the prototype aircraft at CES marks a significant step in the right direction for the future of air travel.

Beyond that, there are dozens of hurdles that Hyundai, Uber, and the rest of its developers must overcome before the vehicles can comply with current regulations. For now, attendees at CES can enjoy the very first public look at the South Korean automaker’s proposed air taxi before the rest of the world is able to see it in person.

Julia Sachs is a former Managing Editor at Grit Daily. She covers technology, social media and disinformation. She is based in Utah and before the pandemic she liked to travel.

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