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Hyundai presents ‘UAM-PBV-Hub’ to vitalise future cities

Hyundai Motor Company has unveiled at CES 2020 its innovative vision for urban mobility to help vitalise human-centred future cities.

To realise the vision, Hyundai Motor showcased three mobility solutions, comprising Urban Air Mobility (UAM), Purpose Built Vehicle (PBV) and Hub, a place for mobility transfer and community activities. Based on these mobility solutions, Hyundai aims to free future cities and people from constraints of time and space and allow them to create more value in their lives.

UAM combines Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) and urban air mobility services to make airspace available for transportation, while PBV is a ground-based eco-friendly mobility solution that provides customised spaces and services for passengers in transit. Hub is a space that connects UAM and PBV, a new concept solution in which people can come together to interact. The company will also accelerate the implementation of its brand vision ‘Progress for Humanity’ and transform itself into a ‘Smart Mobility Solution Provider’.

Working closely together, UAM, PBV and Hub play key roles in vitalising human-centred future cities and enriching people’s lives. UAM connects the sky and the ground, while PBV links people to people on the road. These two smart mobility solutions connect at the Hub, which will be installed across future cities to form a mobility ecosystem. With this smart mobility vision built around the UAM-PBV-Hub network, Hyundai has outlined its commitment to provide customers seamless mobility and a differentiated mobility experience.

The vision is also in line with the company’s mid-term innovation plan ‘Strategy 2025’ to shift to its business structures based on two pillars – ‘Smart Mobility Device’ and ‘Smart Mobility Service’.

“For our smart mobility solutions, we considered what truly matters in cities and in people’s lives. UAM, PBV, and Hub will revitalise cities by removing urban boundaries, giving people time to pursue their goals, and creating a diverse community. Our goal is to help build dynamic human-centred future cities and continue our legacy of progress for humanity. CES 2020 is just the start and we will continue to realize this vision,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group.

Hyundai’s future mobility vision stems from the idea that mobility is closely related to city infrastructure. The company established the Human-Centred City Advisory Group with top global experts from fields such as psychology, architecture, urban design, transportation, and political science, and conducted research on how future cities should be designed to foster new human-centred values. The advisory group derived three key values for future cities: vitalize, enable, and care. Considering Hyundai’s strength in mobility and connecting people, the advisory group decided to place priority on the ‘vitalisation’ of cities.

“All three values are important, but Hyundai is exceptionally well-positioned to vitalise communities with new forms of mobility,” said Art Markman, a member of Hyundai’s Human-Centred City Advisory Group and professor of Cognitive Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

In addition to the advisory group, Hyundai also envisioned different city archetypes and developed future city scenarios to predict the infrastructure and development direction that will be required for future cities. The company focused on human-centred mobility solutions to address traffic congestion challenges in major cities.

“Based on advice from the advisory group, we tried to find mobility solutions that will vitalise communities in a meaningful and imaginative way. UAM, PBV, and Hub are solutions that will help alleviate pain-points in big cities like San Francisco,” said Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer at Hyundai Motor Company.

The first solution that Hyundai is offering to vitalise future cities is Urban Air Mobility, an innovative mobility solution that offers ‘liberation from grid-lock’ and ‘democratisation of flight’. Mega-urbanisation taking place around the world has resulted in dramatic reduction of transfer efficiency for urban residents and increased social costs related to logistics transportation.

UAM enables runway-free urban air travel with Personal Air Vehicles capable of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL).  UAM is considered a key future innovation business that can help overcome urban challenges like traffic congestion and transform the paradigm of mobility.

“We are looking at the dawn of a completely new era that will open the skies above our cities. Urban Air Mobility will liberate people from grid-lock and reclaim time for people to invest in activities they care about and enjoy,” said Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Urban Air Mobility Division at Hyundai Motor Company.

Hyundai also announced four pillars of UAM: safe, quiet, affordable, and passenger-centred. For safety, the PAV has multiple rotors to provide multi-layer redundancy and ensure safe operation, and a parachute deployment system will be placed in the vehicle for emergencies. PAVs will be designed with low noise levels, making them more acceptable for urban travel and offering comfort to passengers.

UAM will be made affordable and accessible through utilisation of Hyundai’s manufacturing know-how in automobiles, aerodynamic design, use of light-weight from carbon composite materials, productive design technology, and reduced operating costs. Lastly, Hyundai’s UAM will be passenger-centred by designing the interior with Internet of Things (IoT) features while ensuring comfort and safety of passengers.

Hyundai’s second mobility solution for a dynamic human-centred future is the Purpose Built Vehicle. The PBV is a new urban mobility solution that can accommodate a wide spectrum of future lifestyles with limitless personalisation. It allows passengers to enjoy tailored services while traveling to their destinations, offering a whole new take on the concept of mobility beyond a means of transportation. Upon personalisation, PBVs can function as a restaurant, coffee shop, and hotel, or even a clinic and pharmacy, in addition to being an urban shuttle.

Hyundai’s concept PBV embodies three key messages: city icon, living space on wheels, and clustered mobility. The PBV is inspired by San Francisco’s iconic cable car: “The design comes alive and makes us feel connected to the way we get around through a progressive reinterpretation of its DNA and incorporation of the urban scenery,” said SangYup Lee, Senior Vice President and Head of Hyundai Global Design.

The PBV is highly customisable with complete disassembly of upper- and under- bodies and adjustable size from 4 to 6 metres. Its interior can be personalised to individual needs by assembling modular parts, taking the PBV beyond transportation into the realm of living space. The fully-electric PBV is also an environmentally-friendly mobility solution. Its artificial intelligence (AI) feature allows the PBV to navigate along the best routes and charge in-transit with the help of the charger PBVs. The PBV can also travel autonomously in platoon, which is expected to bring innovative changes to personal deliveries, as well support the wider logistics industry within future cities.

The third mobility solution presented by Hyundai is the Hub, an innovative new community space that connects air-based UAM and ground-based PBV. The Hub has a skyport for the PAV on the top and docking stations on the ground for the PBV to approach and depart from multiple directions. It can be transformed into an infinite number of new spaces depending on how PBVs are connected.

For instance, the Hub can be turned into a cultural complex by bringing together PBVs functioning as concert halls, movie theaters, and museums. It can also be transformed into a medical complex by connecting medical service PBVs in the form of clinics, doctor’s offices and pharmacies.

Hyundai plans to make smart mobility more accessible by placing Hubs throughout future cities and build a new mobility ecosystem around the UAM-PBV-Hub network. The company will overcome mobility limitations of time and space and create new spaces where people can gather and interact to help build and vitalise human-centered future cities.

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