Skip to main content

Hyundai Targets Flying Car Market

Hyundai Motor Group, the biggest automobile manufacturer in South Korea, announced that it’s planning a full lineup of flying cars that will take to the air and the streets in 2028.

Models planned for Hyundai will carry five or six people within metropolitan areas, and a larger version will fly between cities, according to Jaiwon Shin, head of its urban air mobility unit

“People who are always stuck in traffic on the road will realize how convenient it is to move via aerial vehicles,” said Shin, 61. “That is when we will see demand explode.”

Aircraft manufacturers, automakers and a number of startup companies, which are unfazed by regulatory and safety hurdles, are looking to disrupt the transportation industry with flying cars and parcel-hauling drones.  Analysts at Morgan Stanley predict such technology could lead to a $2.9 trillion industry by 2040 ($615 billion on the low end).

Hyundai debuted its flying-car concept, which it developed in partnership with Uber Technologies Inc., at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  Before Joe and Mary Sixpack can head to the skies, however, Hyundai expects pilots from service providers, such as Uber, to be flying the vehicles until they become autonomous around 2035.

A number of issues, such as what type of pilot’s license would be needed as well as how to prevent or minimize the probability of accidents, remain to be resolved.  New rules and infrastructure will be needed to ensure these vehicles do not interfere with plane and helicopter traffic.