SEOUL, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Hyundai is teaming up with Uber to develop electric air taxis, the two companies said Tuesday.
They unveiled a full-scale prototype of the personal air vehicle, called the S-A1, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Hyundai plans to produce and deploy the air vehicles, while Uber will offer airspace support services, connections to ground transportation, and customer interfaces via an aerial ride-share network.
The flying car will be able to carry a maximum of four passengers on trips of up to 62 miles with a speed of 180 mph at a cruising altitude of about 1,000-3,000 feet, according to the two firms.
Hyundai said the five-person electric model is designed to take off vertically, transition to wing-borne lift in cruise and transition back to vertical flight to land.
Hyundai noted that the airborne vehicle will need a human driver in the early stage, but it will eventually become autonomous. It is lighter and quieter than a combustion engine-powered helicopter, according to the automaker.
Late last year, Hyundai Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun disclosed the company's goal of developing air vehicles by 2023 to start air-taxi services in select regions by 2029.
"Our vision of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) will transform the concept of urban transportation," said Hyundai Executive Vice President Shin Jai-won, who is in charge of Hyundai's UAM business.
"We expect UAM to vitalize urban communities and provide more quality time to people. We are confident that Uber Elevate is the right partner to make this innovative product readily available to as many customers as possible."
Uber Elevate chief Eric Allison also expressed great hopes for the partnership.
"Hyundai is our first vehicle partner with experience of manufacturing passenger cars on a global scale," he said.
"Combining Hyundai's manufacturing muscle with Uber's technology platform represents a giant leap forward for launching a vibrant air taxi network in the coming years."