It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … an Uber?
The ride-sharing giant at CES revealed a flying concept vehicle it says you’ll one day be able to hail straight from your phone. The four-seat contraption, called an S-A1, has four propellers and looks like an airplane crossed with a giant drone.
The electric vehicle, created in partnership with Hyundai, takes off and lands vertically, cruises at up to 180 miles per hour 2,000 feet above the ground, and can do trips as long as 60 miles.
Under the partnership, Hyundai will produce the vehicles, while Uber will take care of passenger interface and air traffic lanes.
Prototypes won’t be operational until 2023, according to Hyundai.
The announcement comes just months after Uber launched its Uber Copter service in New York City. Uber offers 8-minute helicopter rides from Manhattan helicopter ports to JFK for $200 to $250. Uber and Hyundai claim that the new vehicle will be safer than helicopters.
Uber and Hyundai’s partnership isn’t the only cutting-edge transportation news at CES 2020.
A car from Sony: No, that’s not a typo. The creator of the Walkman really surprised industry attendees this year by unveiling a fully functioning concept car stuffed with Sony tech. The Sony Vision-S sedan features a dashboard chock-full of displays — all the way from the driver’s side to passenger’s — that include media controls and playback coupled with 360-degree audio.
The Vision-S isn’t going to be available for sale. Instead, Sony created the car to show that it is serious about building technology for vehicles.
The electric vehicle has 33 sensors on the inside and outside of the car — instead of side-view mirrors, the Vision-S has live video displays connected to cameras built in on the side of the car. Sony won’t be mass-producing the car any time soon.
A Mercedes inspired by James Cameron: A decade after the release of “Avatar,” director James Cameron was back at CES with the first concept art from the hit film’s sequel. To celebrate the occasion, Mercedes-Benz showed off the Vision AVTR, a car straight out of the alien world of Pandora. Though the car — Mercedes’ pitch for what driving might look like in 2039 — is supposed to take its design cues from the 2009 film, its melty-steel design looks more like a killer robot from “T2.”
A smart windshield from BMW: In the future, your self-driving car won’t just take you where you want to go but also entertain you along the way. Or at least that’s what BMW thinks.
The automaker showed off its smart windshield concept — the BMW i Interaction EASE — to show attendees. The system would project information on the windshield as you drive to tell you about the places you are driving by. Eye tracking would take note of what captures your attention and give you more info about whatever it is you’re looking at. If you want to learn even more, just raise your hand to pull up additional options.
Another mode will darken the windshield and project a movie or TV show on the glass, while a third will also darken the vehicle and recline your seat 60 degrees into “zero gravity” mode so you can sleep while you travel to your destination.