CES is arguably the most impactful event in the tech industry. Each year startups and massive corporations take to the show floor to unveil their newest innovations. CES 2020 will be no different. From 8K TVs to the latest advancements in 5G technology there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
That includes flying car enthusiasts. Hyundai recently announced that it is planning to unveil a concept version of a flying taxi at the January event. Though not much information has been revealed about how the company plans to use the car in real life, it is still exciting to hear that consumers will get an up-close meeting with a flying taxi early next year.
Sci-Fi Turned Reality
The idea of flying cars whizzing by sounds like something out of Star Wars. However, the day when people can hail a flying Uber is closer than it seems. Hyundai is one of many companies that has established a flying taxi division in response to growing consumer interest. As of now, it isn’t clear whether or not the carmaker has actually started manufacturing its airborne vehicle.
Nonetheless, a concept version of it will appear at CES 2020. The company calls it a “personal air vehicle” and claims that its customizable design will give it a variety of different uses. It also says that flying taxis will soon “give back quality time to city commuters.”
Though Hyundai typically isn’t a company that’s associated with things other than mid-range cars, this year’s CES conference isn’t the first time it debuted something novel. Last year, it showed off a walking vehicle, the Hyundai Elevate, that moved around on robotic legs.
Giant PR Stunt?
Last year’s Elevate turned out to be an attention-grabbing display for the Las Vegas tech conference and nothing more. That forces the question—is Hyundai being serious this time?
The flying taxi industry certainly isn’t a joke. Major players are working to stay ahead of the growing trend and get their vehicles into the sky. One of these is Uber, who plans to soon offer pilot programs (no pun intended) of its flying taxi rideshare service in Dallas and Los Angeles. It is still in need of a functional air taxi before that plan can take shape.
Flying taxis are the next hot thing across the tech industry. With that in mind, it would make sense for Hyundai to take this year’s CES innovation more seriously once the showroom lights turn off.
The carmaker has been tight-lipped so far about how its flying car will fit into the market. Yet, it’s confident that it will capture a piece of the industry’s $1.5 billion business over the next 20 years.
Another positive sign is that Hyundai has made Dr. Jaiwon Shin, a respected NASA veteran, the head of its flying taxi program. Having Shin in charge means that the carmaker is at least hoping to develop its concept flying vehicle past the stage of showing off for conferences.
Though it will likely be several years, possibly even decades, before flying taxis become a commonplace thing, the innovation is already starting. Don’t be surprised if Hyundai isn’t the only company making a statement by showing off the tech next month at CES 2020.