20th July 2024

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Kia got here to CES 2024 with the objective of creating a splash. Slightly than simply rolling out a brand new electrical automobile or some AI software program buzzwords, 5 years after it was final at CES, Kia got here to this yr’s present and launched its Platform Past Autos lineup. In the present day, the corporate is following that up with the announcement that it has signed an MoU with Uber to supply its drivers PBVs tailor-made to their work. A little bit loftier than that, yesterday, Hyundai Motor Group cousin Supernal introduced an electrical vertical takeoff and touchdown (eVTOL) plane, the S-A2.

Kia + Uber

The Kia plus Uber partnership is probably an enormous one. Having electrical automobiles customized for Uber drivers may result in better-optimized automobiles for taxi/”ridesharing” use. “With the objective of enhancing electrical automobile choices obtainable on Uber’s mobility platform and supporting the worldwide experience hailing chief in attaining its 2040 zero-emission objective, the partnership will search to provide Kia PBVs optimized for drivers and fleets as a part of Kia’s ‘Platform Past Automobile’ technique on this discipline of the mobility market,” Kia writes.

Naturally, we’re simply on the “we’ll customise automobiles for you” stage, so there’s nothing to see and there aren’t any particulars to be examined. The automobile within the pic above is simply one of many instance PBVs Kia rolled out for CES. “The intentions of the collaboration are for Kia to determine optimum specs for PBV fashions, with the doable additional integration of expertise and providers to profit drivers and experience hailing customers alike,” Kia writes. “The partnership’s objectives additionally lengthen to the creation of proofs of idea, prototypes, and the manufacturing of PBVs tailor-made to the wants of drivers that use the Uber platform.”

“PBVs will play a key position within the transformation of mobility. This collaboration will improve Kia’s PBV growth, with optimized automobiles for drivers’ and customers’ wants,” stated Sangdae Kim, Head of PBV Division, Kia. “It will give attention to superior software program and providers, with the combination of interactive In-Automobile Infotainment and superior security expertise.”

There’s no clear indication of when the Kia automobile will likely be prepared and put into use.

Supernal eVTOL Jet

As for the sky-high aspirations of Supernal, Hyundai Motor Group’s Superior Air Mobility (AAM) firm, the S-A2 idea is a 5-person plane. It’s additionally the second model of a plane idea first unveiled at CES 4 years in the past (S-A1). Is it prepared for passengers? No, however possibly at some point. The goal from Supernal is 2028.

“From the start, Supernal has been on a mission to create the suitable product and the suitable market on the proper time,” stated Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal. “The revealing of S-A2 demonstrates our unwavering dedication to ship on that mission with a secure, environment friendly automobile design that gives a transparent path to market entry. By leveraging our proficient 600-person group, the huge technical and enterprise capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and trusted aviation suppliers all over the world, Supernal is able to ship a brand new period of flight.”

As conceptualized, listed here are some particulars for the long run good friend:

  • 120 mph at 15,000 ft altitude.
  • “65 dB in vertical take-off and touchdown phases and 45 dB whereas cruising horizontally” (as quiet as a dishwasher)
  • eight all-tilting rotors

“The automobile is designed with a precedence on security and a give attention to sustainability and passenger consolation. Engineered to attain the worldwide business aviation normal of security, it has a strong airframe construction together with redundant elements in vital methods resembling powertrain, flight controls and avionics. The all-tilting rotor configuration will energy the automobile by means of each the vertical-lift and horizontal-cruise phases of flight with distinctive effectivity. To keep up superior high quality whereas additionally being cost-effective, the automobile will likely be manufactured leveraging Hyundai’s mass manufacturing functionality.”

That every one sounds convincing, doesn’t it?

“As Supernal continues to optimize its automobile for certification, mass manufacturing and expanded use circumstances, the Firm can be centered on inside modularity and battery upgradability. This contains the flexibility to exchange the battery module as expertise advances.”

It’s laborious to think about the S-A2 reaching a cost-competitive degree. However we will see. It actually seems cool.

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