Hyundai Motor Company, who presented its S-A1 eVTOL with Uber Elevate at CES earlier this year, signed a memorandum of understanding with Incheon International Airport Corporation, Hyundai Engineering & Construction, and KT Corp to work towards commercializing Urban Air Mobility in South Korea by 2028. Incheon International Airport is the largest airport in South Korea and the primary airport for the Seoul Capital Area. Hyundai Engineering & Construction is a construction arm of the car manufacturer and has experience in building bridges, dams and shipyards. KT Corp is South Korea’s largest telecommunications company.
Hyundai and its partners will follow a roadmap published by the Korean government in 2020 outlining steps to commercialize the urban air mobility market. This includes the Korean UAM Grand Challenge, a public-private join demonstration project that will serve to research the construction and operation of vertiports.
The four partners will work together on test flights and share all the data. Hyundai will continue developing airframes and the UAM business cases as a whole. Incheon International Airport Corporation will work on establishing the infrastructure and studying the feasibility of eVTOL as airport shuttles. Hyundai Engineering & Construction will leverage their construction experience in the design of vertiports, small airports specifically designed to serve vertical take-off and landing aircraft. They will also work on a hub design to integrate and connect UAM with other modes of transportation. KT Corp will set up the communications infrastructure and make business cases for UAM as a mobility service.
The breadth and depth of this partnership shows what it will take to build a comprehensive UAM ecosystem to serve megacities like Seoul. Building a robust infrastructure and business model is just as important as developing innovative UAM vehicles. This partnership demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to facilitating progress for humanity by ushering in a new era of urban air mobility that will revolutionise transportation.
– Jaiwon Shin, Executive VP and Head of UAM Division at Hyundai Motor Company
Earlier this year, Hyundai partnered with Uber Elevate to present the S-A1, an eVTOL capable of cruising at 180mph (290kmh) for 60mi (100km) while carrying four passengers. It is unknown whether this aircraft will form the base of this new partnership.