Car maker takes to the skies

Louise Smyth

Hyundai has announced a strategic partnership with Top Flight, a startup in hybrid-electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies, as part of its broader effort in future mobility solutions.

Hyundai will team up with the Boston-based outfit to explore ways to accelerate the commercial application and deployment of UAVs across various sectors and markets. Joint efforts will extend to cultivating new business opportunities around UAVs, leveraging Top Flight’s patented hybrid-electric power system. Potential areas for business development include cargo transport, inspection services and surveillance missions for industrial sites.

Top Flight’s proprietary hybrid-electric power system is instrumental in developing optimised solutions for UAV-centred business models, as it allows for extended flight times and heavier payloads for commercial use. Drones powered by the Top Flight Micro Generator Hybrid Power System can stay airborne for up to two hours, while carrying a load of four kilograms. It also offers an array of scalable UAV solutions, most notably a 3D Real-time Simulation Environment & Fleet Management System which provides agile product development tools and the ‘Remote Location Operation Console’ that enables simultaneous operation of multiple UAV units.

Hyundai also seeks to enhance its existing operations with the application of drone products and technologies ― particularly high-definition mapping and operations and management (O&M) services.

The global UAV market is growing at a fast pace, expected to garner $22.1 billion by 2026.

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