Uber and Hyundai are developing a four-seat flying vehicle, with prototype set for reveal in 2023
Uber is looking to diversify its business and it seems flying taxis are the next goal. At CES 2020, Uber and car manufacturer Hyundai showed up to unveil a four-seater electric flying vehicle that is meant to be used with the Uber app in future. The two companies are still working on the prototype but expect it to be ready by 2023.
Of course, there are many technical and technological difficulties to be overcome before flying taxis would become a thing. According to CNN, an actual pilot will be needed before Hyundai is able to figure out how to make it fly autonomously. The actual design of the vehicle, flight regulations, and more will also have to be sorted out. If anything, Hyundai's estimation of 2023 may sound unrealistic to many.
It should be noted that flying electric vehicles are not new concepts by any means. Boeing has already started its own test flights of a flying car back in 2019, while former Google co-founder Larry Page has been investing in startups working on flying cars. During Boeing's test flight, the vehicle was only able to sustain a flight time of less than 1 minute, and that was without any passenger or pilot inside.
One of the biggest hurdle for such vehicles at present is battery technology. Batteries need to be small enough to not bulk up the vehicles, yet provide enough charge to taxi people around more than once before needing to recharge. Unfortunately, current batteries can't achieve the above two requirements feasibly. It'll also take a while before Uber and Hyundai's flying taxi would be able to do so without needing a human pilot.
It was certainly unfortunate that we didn't wake up in 2020 to see flying cars. But if this news is any indication, it sounds like we'd at least be able to see them within this decade. What do you think, are you excited for the day you get to sit in one? Let us know on our Facebook page and stay tuned to TechNave.com for more news like this.