Top executives at Hyundai and General Motors reconfirmed each automaker’s commitment to produce a viable flying car, perhaps as soon as 2025, but more likely by the end of this decade.
Hyundai Global Chief Operating Officer Jose Munoz, who also heads up the company’s North American operations, told a group of investors and media that an air taxi service could be operational by 2025, if everything goes well.
He noted his company is ahead of its original timetable for producing a useable flying car, originally 2028.
“We see this market as a significant growth opportunity,” Munoz said Monday during the Reuters Events Car of the Future conference. The South Korean automaker’s new CEO, Euisun Chung, essentially declared the automaker was shifting to becoming a mobility company in the near-term future.
He specifically noted plans for flying taxis during his introduction as Chairman last October and the earlier debut of Hyundai’s $52 billion “Strategy 2025” plan which called for battery-electric cars and “personal air vehicles.”
Hyundai’s not alone
Other automakers are also putting resources — human and financial — behind the effort to develop a flying car, including GM, Toyota, Daimler AG, Aston Martin and Geely. GM’s top tech officer, Pamela Fletcher, offered a more tempered view.
“I think that there’s a long pathway here,” she said, according to Reuters. “2030 is probably a real commercial inflection point.”
GM earlier this year rolled out a Cadillac flying concept vehicle at CES 2021. “It’s a very nascent space,” Fletcher later noted. “There’s a lot of work to be done on the regulatory side, as well as the actual technology side.”
In January, the company teased a four-rotor prototype dubbed the VTOL (vertical-take-off-and-landing), is “designed for the moment when time is of the essence and convenience is everything,” said Michael Simcoe, GM’s vice president of global design, at the time.Details about the VTOL were scarce, though Simcoe did note the concept would use a 90 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The flying car would be targeted at Cadillac customers.