‘Air taxi to see explosive demand after 2035′

17-Jan-2020 Intellasia | KoreaTimes | 7:02 AM Print This Post

The public demand for an air taxi service will see “an inflection point” in 2035, and Hyundai Motor Group’s bid to preoccupy the lucrative market is a feasible investment, according to Shin Jai-won, the head of the group’s urban air mobility division.

“By 2035, new regulations for air taxis will be set up and many improvements will be made on autopilot and battery technologies,” Shin said during an interview on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 7 (Korea Standard Time). “This will create an inflection point, in which technological progress and eased regulations will pump up the demand for an air taxi service,” he said, adding the air taxi market will be valued at $1.5 trillion by 2040.

Shin is known as an aeronautics expert, serving as the associate administrator at NASA from 2008 to last year. After building a successful career at NASA, he moved to the carmaker in September as an executive vice president, to lead the group’s development of electric aircraft.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, he unveiled the first outcome after his joining of Hyundai, the S-A1 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) concept, and explained why he thought the carmaker has feasibility in the urban air mobility service.

“Conventional aircraft require long runways while helicopters make a lot of noise which cannot be accepted in mega cities,” he said. “Since urban air mobility uses multi-rotor eVTOL, it maximises the strength of helicopters while containing the noise.”

According to Shin, aggravating traffic problems all across the world is increasing the demand for urban air mobility services, and this will be transformed into the rise of “on-demand service of flight,” which requires an increased number of flights and the mass production of aircrafts that can handle the demand.

“Conventional aircraft manufacturers such as Boeing can assemble only 60 737s a month, due to the extremely sophisticated technologies those aircraft require,” he said.

“When air taxi services become commercialised, however, eVTOLs will have to travel hundreds of times, though requiring less technology but higher volumes. This means you have to manufacture air taxi vehicles in a way similar to assembling passenger cars, and Hyundai Motor’s mass production capacity is a very strong advantage, compared to that of conventional aircraft manufacturers.”

On the reasons for Shin’s decision to join Hyundai Motor, he said he highly evaluated Hyundai Motor Group Executive vice Chair Chung Euisun’s belief in the feasibility of air taxi services.

“When the air taxi market grows to $1.5 trillion in 20 years, or even remains at half of that, there will be a variety of companies providing that service,” Shin said. “Since the demand is growing the market will grow and my mission is to help Hyundai Motor Group to preoccupy the leading position in the market.”



Category: Korea

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