Posts Tagged ‘urban air mobility’

Kia and Hyundai Form New Urban Air Mobility Company – Supernal

Wednesday, November 10th, 2021

Since the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, Kia Corp (part of the Hyundai Motor Group/HMG) has been on a venture with Uber for a new type of ride-hailing – aircrafts. Sounds crazy – letting a complete stranger fly us from one place to the other, but is it any different than flying in a commercial aircraft or just about any plane on the tarmac? That’s really the main difference, and until cars can fly, a random stranger isn’t going to land on the highway and ask for your name, ready to fly off again. As Kia and Hyundai continue to create new partnerships for the air taxi, it seems like this baby is going to take off soon – pun intended. With that in mind, the Hyundai Motor Group (the Group) announced the start of a new company called Supernal, LLC that will be used as the forefront to focus on future mobility solutions, starting with its Urban Air Mobility Division.

As the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry starts to emerge, electric vehicles are still fighting for popularity among the public, and fully autonomous vehicles are still far away. The Group isn’t crazy, we won’t see any real air travel for several years. At the moment, the Group plans to launch its first commercial flight in 2028. It’s the hope that after two years of operations, the public will become more familiar with these urban aircrafts. How long did it take for people to regularly use Uber and Lyft versus a taxi or bus? The two are very different beasts, but already at work, Supernal’s first air vehicle will be electric-powered, autonomous (we already have autopilot), and the ability to seat four to five passengers on initial urban and urban-adjacent routes.

“We’re developing a commercially viable Advanced Air Mobility product from the start, designing and manufacturing our vehicle to the highest safety, noise, efficiency, and affordability standards…Our growing team, which includes veterans of aerospace, automotive, and other deep-tech industries, is engineering sustainable vehicles that have the potential to evolve how we live, work, and play.” – Ben Diachun, Chief Technology Officer, Supernal

The air taxi is basically a culmination of everything the Group has worked on thus far – artificial intelligence, autonomous control, and electric powertrains – all in the name of creating an ecosystem of mobility. Since the unveiling of the first air taxi in 2020, the Group has been entering into many agreements with aerospace companies, like ANRA Technologies, a company already working on the safe and efficient integration of advanced air mobility (AAM) into existing airspace. Last year, the Group entered into another partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Urban Movement Labs to develop a public engagement roadmap and policy toolkit that other cities can use when managing their AAM efforts.

Right now, Supernal is collaborating with stakeholders to explore concepts on how to get this done. It will take physical infrastructure like tarmacs, landing pads, and runways for personal and/or commercial use. Digital infrastructures may also be used for managing the airways. Could we finally see aerospace highways like sci-fi movies always promise? Keep up with all the updates on the air taxi by Kia and Hyundai when you follow us on Miami Lakes Automall social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia News

Kia and Hyundai Enter New Agreement with Next Hydrogen

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

Kia Corp and the Hyundai Motor Group have been very busy with their flying car hailing service. After the initial wave of the pandemic in 2020, Kia Corp and Hyundai started to focus on purpose-built vehicles (PBVs). The other plan was to focus more on electric vehicles (EVs), and although Kia keeps releasing new EVs, like the Kia EV6 and upcoming Kia EV8.We haven’t heard much about PBVs but the two groups have been working on one other plan in the making – a fleet of aircrafts people can hail versus a car. Last month, June 2021, Kia and Hyundai went into an agreement with ANRA Technologies, a company focused on airspace solutions. Now to keep moving forward, Hyundai, Kia, and Next Hydrogen for multiple hydrogen fuel cell solutions, including  urban air mobility (UAM).

“Next Hydrogen’s innovative water electrolysis stack design technology is an ideal solution for enabling the economical production of green hydrogen…We are extremely appreciative of the opportunity to work with Kia and Hyundai Motor, given their industry leadership as champions of this technology. This partnership is expected to accelerate efforts to address the incredible emerging opportunities in sustainable transportation globally.” – Raveel Afzaal, President and CEO of Next Hydrogen

The Next Hydrogen Corporation is a Canadian company specializing in water electrolysis technology, with efforts on working towards a global hydrogen society through cost-effective production of clean hydrogen. At the moment, producing hydrogen is expensive, and the three companies are working on a new stack for hydrogen production. It’s all in the name of HTWO, a new brand revealed by the Hyundai Motor Group. This group is designed to be the world-leading hydrogen fuel cell system. With the help of Next Hydrogen, the goal is to develop the next-generation hydrogen fuel cell system that will be able to power various forms of mobility – automobiles, vessels, trains, and beyond.

So, what is a “stack”? The term has popped up quite a bit so far. When it comes to producing hydrogen, many companies use what is called an “Electrolyzer Stack”. The simplest way to get a hold of hydrogen is through a method known as “electrolysis”, which as the name implies, makes use of electricity. With the help of an electrolyzer, companies can produce hydrogen and oxygen from regular good ol’ water by applying an electrical current to the fluid. The electrolyzer makes use of this electrochemical reaction to separate the oxygen and hydrogen molecules to deconstruct water. We’re then left with two gases, one of which is already used in internal gas combustion engines – oxygen. The hydrogen can then be utilized to power an entire fuel cell stack – kind of like how electricity powers a battery cell. See where this is going?

With the current semiconductor chip shortage, producing electric vehicles is starting to hit a tipping point. Until things get back to normal, which may never be the case, automakers are looking into other avenues to keep afloat and produce green vehicles. The process sounds simple, but if it was, everyone would have a hydrogen-powered car by now. That’s why Kia, Hyundai Motor, and Next Hydrogen are working towards the next new hydrogen fuel cell stack.Want to stay on top of news from Kia and Hyundai Motor? Follow us on Miami Lakes Automall Kia social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Unsplash/Terry Vlisidis

New Partnership for Hyundai, Kia, and Uber Air Taxi

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

It’s been a while since we talked about the Urban Air Mobility group started between the Hyundai Motor Group, Kia Corp, and Uber of all things. The partnership debuted an air taxi during the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in early January. It was just before the Coronavirus went global, the auto industry shut down temporarily, and manufacturing plants every where needed to reorganize how to work in new conditions. So we can understand not hearing much about this air taxi for over a year, we get it. Thankfully, Kia Corp is always surprising us with some good news, and the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group announced today a new partnership with ANRA Technologies to move forward with the air taxi project and enter the advanced air mobility (AAM) industry.

Yes, the Uber Air Taxi sounds a little nuts. How long did it take people to trust perfect strangers to drive them from A to B? And some of the crazy stories that surfaced, yikes. Are people going to trust perfect strangers to fly them through the air? Well, we do it every day – we just overlook the fact that commercial airline pilots are complete strangers because they have a uniform and a license to fly an airplane. Surely, a program of sorts will be instated and a network of licensed Uber pilots will be put together.


Urban Air Mobility Vision by The Group Named “Best Innovations in 2020”

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020


Before the Coronavirus spread across the world and automotive shows were still being looked forward to, the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show, taking place in January every year, got lucky. Although it’s called a “Consumer Electronics” show, don’t let the title fool anyone. Automakers will still take this time as a chance to show off new concepts, usually automotive technologies, and build attention for upcoming features for future models. During the 2020 CES, Kia Motors, in conjunction with the Hyundai Motor Group, and in partnership with Uber, there was a pretty interesting concept “floating” around. It’s the futuristic Uber Air Taxi, and it caught the attention of Etisalat, a leading telecommunications company in Africa and the Middle East, just in time for the 2020 GITEX Technology Week.

Although most shows and public exhibits have been shut down for the year, GITEX Technology Week is taking place between December 6–10, 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Currently called the Hyundai Motor Group’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vision concept, or S-A1, was named on the Etisalat “Best Innovations in 2020” list. This honor led to it being invited to showcase such game-changing technology in an ecosystem where offering everyone some form of private or public transportation is quickly growing. Whether we’re ready to let a complete stranger fly us around from point A to point B, well, isn’t that the same thing as every other airline pilot out there? The difference here is, will companies have certified pilots operating these fleets or will this be a service open to freelance pilots who don’t necessarily take random drug screenings?

We’re getting ahead of ourselves here. The Hyundai Motor Group, made up mostly of Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors, is usually referred to as “The Group”, and has been working on many different kinds of technologies and transportation for a while now, and with the world population steadily growing, how are we going to avoid getting stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the following years? Are the airways really the next step? The Group seems to think so.

“Hyundai is developing core technologies that will establish it as the driving force behind Urban Air Mobility, offering a new and affordable transportation paradigm,” – Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group

The S-A1 is just one of three major mobility solutions The Group is heading into. Along with the SA-1 aircraft, The Group is also taking a large look at Purpose-Built Vehicles (PBVs), or vehicles designed for specific functions that can be performed autonomously, like shopping, or delivering food, or inter-connected hubs where someone can go from the bar to the gym without leaving their home. Sort of like an above ground subway system where each car is dedicated to another function, but these cars are PBVs able to house groups of people. Actually, this is the third solution The Group is working on, known as “The Hub”, meant to serve as the next public venue for mobility transfer and community activities. This last one is another invention spawned from the Coronavirus, but doesn’t necessarily need to be just used for keeping enclosed spaces and parties safe.

Lots of cool stuff is still going on, and we’re all hoping it continues to grow in 2021. Follow along with us on Miami Lakes Kia social media.

Photo Source/Copyright: Kia Media