SEOUL, South Korea: Looking to tap into the vast market potential for urban air mobility, Hyundai Motor and General Motors have accelerated efforts to develop zero-emissions 'flying cars' that can take off and land like helicopters, and carry passengers as well as cargo.
While Hyundai has said it is expecting to roll out air-taxis powered by electric batteries by 2025, GM has said its air taxis will be operational by 2030, Reuters reported.
The South Korean automaker is ahead of schedule for launching air-mobility vehicles, its global chief operating officer, Jose Munoz, said in an interview broadcast at a recent Reuters Events Car of the Future conference.
Munoz had earlier said the urban air taxis, which would be able to ferry five to six people from highly congested urban centers to airports, would become operational at major US airports by 2028 or sooner.
Hyundai is expecting its flying cars to not just cater to residential customers, but also transport commercial cargo, he said.
It is also planning to develop services around the vehicles, instead of just selling them, he added.
"We see this market as a significant growth opportunity," Munoz said, adding he is "very confident" of the technology's development.
Meanwhile, an executive at GM, which unveiled a flying Cadillac concept in January, has said air-taxi services could reach commercialization only by 2030, in the face of technical and regulatory hurdles.
"I think that there's a long pathway here," Pamela Fletcher, vice president of GM's global innovation team, said at the Reuters event.
"2030 is probably a real commercial inflection pointIt's a very nascent space. There's a lot of work to be done on the regulatory side, as well as the actual technology side," she added.
According to Morgan Stanley, the total market for urban air mobility is projected to reach $1 trillion by 2040 and $9 trillion by 2050.