A British start-up has announced plans to open 200 'air taxi' and drone hubs in 65 cities across the world over the next five years.
Urban-Air Port (UAP) say the funds from Supernal – part of the Hyundai Motor Group – will help deliver so-called ‘vertiports’ – the infrastructure for landing, recharging and taking off with fare-paying passengers.
UAP says it wants to cut congestion and air pollution from passenger and cargo transport.
It comes ahead of the April opening of the world’s first fully operational hub for eVTOLs, Air-One, in Coventry.
UAP says the vertiport sites will provide essential infrastructure to help enable mass adoption of eVTOL aircraft – which include cargo drones and air taxis – as public acceptance grows.
The company hopes it will transform the way goods and people are transported around urban areas.
The hub in Coventry will show how advanced air mobility (AAM) “can help unlock the potential of sustainable mobility and how the industry will work to help reduce congestion, cut air pollution and decarbonise transport”, UAP added.
Supernal is developing its own eVTOL and plans to launch its first commercial flight in 2028.
The company’s investment in UAP will help support the development of the company’s new “vertiport” models including the CityBox delivery drone hub, and expansion into new markets.
Ricky Sandhu, founder and executive chairman of Urban-Air Port, said: “Cars need roads. Trains need rails. Planes need airports. eVTOLs need Urban-Air Ports.
“Despite the unparalleled potential of eVTOL aircraft to revolutionise mobility, the importance of the ground infrastructure that enables them is too often overlooked.
"With Supernal’s investment and expertise and connection to Hyundai Motor Group, we can supercharge the rollout of sustainable, intermodal and scalable ground infrastructure that will unleash the future of advanced air mobility globally.”
Jaiwon Shin, CEO of Supernal, added: “At Supernal, we are on a mission to transform how people and society move, connect, and live; therefore, it is essential we not only develop electric air vehicles, but also help shape the broader advanced air mobility market from the ground up.
"We are pleased to continue working with Urban-Air Port and support its efforts to create ground infrastructure that works seamlessly with eVTOLs and integrates the advanced air mobility industry with existing modes of transportation.”
Watch: What is the metaverse?