Hyundai is bringing self-flying personal airplanes, self-driving cars, and futuristic mobility hubs to the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- CES has turned into a technological showcase for many automakers, including Hyundai.
- Hyundai envisions a future where self-driving cars and small flying machines are joined at mobility hubs.
- The goal is to alleviate traffic congestion and speed up the time needed to get around a sprawling city.
Each Hyundai mobility hub has a landing pad on top, along with docking stations for self-drive vehicles at its base. (Photo: Hyundai)
Flying cars and self-driving ones, too
The South Korean automaker has offered details about it ambitious outlook for a world where self-driving cars are linked to small self-driving airplanes at wildly futuristic-looking mobility hubs.
From the image release ahead of Hyundai’s reveal at CES on January 6, these flying and self-driving devices look like something from a Star Trek movie. Each hub consists of a circular landing pad on top, to accommodate the six-rotor Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOLs) vehicles. Hyundai calls these Personal Air Vehicles, or PAVs.
While no details were released about the range or top speed of the PAVs, it’s highly likely they’re electric-powered and feature some form of self-flying capability. A number of major companies have gotten into the race to make flying cars a reality. These include aerospace giants like Boeing, Embraer, and Airbus, not to mention rideshare superpower Uber.
At CES 2019, Hyundai showcased the Elevate concept. This self-driving vehicle uses robotic arms to position each wheel exactly where it’s needed over extreme terrain. (Photo: Hyundai)
Science fiction made real
Attached at the bottom of each Hyundai mobility hub are 10 docking stations, to house Hyundai’s Purpose Built Vehicle, or PBVs. Again, Hyundai has released almost no details about these self-drive cars. However, from the one image released ahead of CES 2020, the vehicles are rectangular-shaped and almost entirely transparent. They look more like small mobile waiting rooms, rather than any car or truck currently on the road.
Hyundai has a history of wild concepts at CES. Last year, the automaker showed off the Elevate, a self-driving vehicle with wheels attached to extending robotic arms. In theory, these allow the Elevate to traverse the most extreme terrain, and even climb stairs.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Unlike more traditional car shows, the annual Consumer Electronics Show allows car companies added freedom to propose concepts and wild creations that push technological boundaries of what’s possible now, and in the years ahead.