Hyundai Motor Group announces the formation of Supernal to lead the Group’s progress in Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

First electric commercial flight planned for 2028

By
Ian Osborne
November 12, 2021
Category:
EV Life

Hyundai Motor Group is announcing a new company called Supernal, LLC to take its future mobility vision forward. An evolution of its Urban Air Mobility Division, Supernal, will be the binding component of the Group’s future mobility vision.

The company is developing a family of electric air vehicles and convening public and private stakeholders to responsibly shape the emerging Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry.

It plans to launch its first commercial flight in 2028 and scale operations, leveraging the Group’s manufacturing expertise, as the air mobility market and public acceptance begin to grow in the 2030s. Hyundai have outlined their plans in the video below.

Jaiwon Shin, CEO of Supernal and President of Hyundai Motor Group, said: “In adding a new dimension to mobility, we are on a mission to transform how people and society move, connect and live.

“We have bold ambitions at Supernal but being first to market is not one of them. We are working to build the right product and the right integrated market, and we will leverage Hyundai Motor Group’s scaled manufacturing expertise to ensure AAM reaches the right price point and is accessible to the masses.”

Borne out of Hyundai’s transition from automaker to smart mobility solution provider, Supernal is one of more than 50 pioneering companies in the Group’s network collaborating to make mobility a service, not just a product.

The company is working to integrate AAM into existing transit networks and to shape a seamless intermodal passenger experience. The vision is for passengers to use a single app, similar to current rideshare platforms, to plan their journey.

This could also include taking a car or rail from home to an AAM ‘vertiport’, an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) craft across town and an e-scooter for the last mile.

Supernal

Supernal, launched as the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2020, where it introduced its initial concept vehicle, the S-A1. The Company continues to develop and enhance the eVTOL vehicle.

The company plans to bring this to market first and will begin certification with US regulatory agencies in 2024. Supernal’s first air vehicle will be electric-powered and autonomous-capable. It is planned to accommodate four to five passengers on initial urban and urban-adjacent routes.

Ben Diachun, Supernal chief technology officer, said: “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.”

In tandem with its electric air vehicle development, Supernal is working to co-create the AAM industry and the supporting ecosystem by collaborating with a variety of stakeholders.

These will be across public and private entities, along with other modes of mobility, academia, and startups to address market entry challenges, cultivate public acceptance and ensure AAM is economically accessible and environmentally sustainable.

Shin added: “As an industry disruptor, we have a responsibility to ensure AAM integrates with and augments existing transit options and effectively serves local community needs.

“Developing the market, from the vehicle to critical infrastructure networks and public acceptance, takes thoughtful and strategic coordination. Everything needs to align at the same time for AAM to reach its full promise.”

With this aim, Supernal is forging partnerships at the local and state level across the United States. Last year, the company launched a partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Urban Movement Labs. This is to develop a public engagement roadmap and policy toolkit other cities and municipalities can use to inform their AAM efforts and timelines.

At the national and international level, Supernal is collaborating with stakeholders to explore concepts for physical and digital infrastructure. Last year, the Company entered a partnership with Urban-Air Port, a participant in the UK government’s Future Flight Challenge. This is to explore new, multifunctional and scalable AAM infrastructure and will showcase a full-scale “vertiport” prototype in the United Kingdom next year.

Supernal is also supporting CAAM (the Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium) in developing a framework for the Canadian AAM National Master Plan.

Additionally, the Company recently announced the expansion of its Airspace Management Consortium, which is working to shape a concept of operations for the consideration of policymakers.

It’s good to see Hyundai combining different types of zero-emissions transport, many of which are already commonplace, to help people with their daily lives. We’re excited to see how the S-A1 develops and is integrated into daily emobility.

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