Rising Above Traffic Congestion
- K-SYSTEM SERIES BY HYUNDAI x BLOOMBERG MEDIA GROUP
5 minute read
Innovation has driven economic progress in Korea, and this adaptability has been supported by robust transportation infrastructure. Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility division is continuing this tradition by building highways in the sky to tackle a growing global concern: traffic congestion.
Reaching new heights
Los Angeles is a city like no other. Within this city, you can see mountains, a desert, and a coast. It has such a rich diversity of landscapes that inspire many visitors. However, if you've ever been stuck in LA traffic, you know it's awful. Interstate 405, which separates the city from North to South, is one of the busiest highways in North America.
Traffic congestion is a global issue, and with 7.8 billion people in the world, cities around the globe will continue to grow at a faster rate than ever. Moving this volume of people places a huge strain on transportation infrastructure. Without the creation of long-term solutions, many cities will become gridlocked.
Leading the way
On the other side of the world, Seoul has one of the world’s most impressive urban transportation systems, designed to support 10 million residents. From the dynamic and reliable KTX train network to the efficient bus and subway systems throughout its cities, people can move freely between metropolitan areas. Korea’s innovative DNA means the country has been constantly reinventing mobility solutions for the benefit of humanity.
Hyundai is aiming to provide a solution to a significant challenge of traffic congestion by investing $1.5 billion into opening up the skies above the world’s busiest cities. The urban air mobility sector is expected to grow into a market worth $1.5 trillion within the next 20 years, and Hyundai is well placed to be a leader in air transportation in metropolitan areas. Urban Air Mobility (UAM) is defined as the transportation of people and goods by air in and around urban and suburban areas. We envision a world where autonomous flying vehicles alleviate traffic jams and fundamentally change the way we get around our cities.
Korea’s innovative DNA based on agility and adaptability means the country has been constantly reinventing mobility solutions for the benefit of humanity.
Changing the paradigm of transportation
“All of us have been living in a two-dimensional world, and urban air mobility opens up a third dimension above our heads,” said Executive Vice President Jaiwon Shin, and head of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Division at Hyundai. “UAM will transform mobility as we know it and goes a long way to answer Hyundai’s goal of being a Smart Mobility Solutions provider.”
The vision of UAM can change the landscape of urban areas as we know them, with Hyundai building a network of Personal Air Vehicles (PAV), city center community HUB terminals, and Purpose Built Vehicles (PBV).
The S-A1 PAV can travel at speeds of up to 240km/h, meaning a 40km commute is now accessible in under 15 minutes. The all-electric aircraft also requires no runway and is relatively quiet, making it suitable for city environments. This promises to change the way we access cities in the future.
Reclaiming lost land
“Solutions like UAM mean up to 30% of urban land use can be reclaimed and we can liberate cities from being gridlocked” exclaims Shin, who once led the research and development at NASA. He continued, “We hope commercial operations can commence in 2023 with our partners Uber, and with the safety of paramount importance we hope to have our first PAVs in the air above cities across the world.”
Solutions like UAM mean Hyundai can connect people in new ways by reducing commuting times, decreasing the volume of cars in city areas. This means there will be more space for recreational activities. This is a vision of the future that Hyundai subscribes to, a vision of Progress for Humanity.
To understand more about Hyundai’s Urban Air Mobility division and how it’s changing city landscapes, Bloomberg and Hyundai have produced a miniseries exploring the automaker’s approach to innovation. In the upcoming K-System series, episode three talks about UAM’s commitment to opening highways in the sky.