SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — Hyundai Motor Co. might have to adjust its plans for future mobility services after Uber Technologies Inc. decided to sell the company’s self-driving and air taxi businesses.
The U.S. ride-hailing giant reportedly decided to turn over Uber Elevate, the company’s air taxi business, to Joby Aviation, and invest US$75 million in the company.
The news is expected to have an immediate impact on Hyundai, which has been working on an urban air mobility (UAM) project with Uber since January.
Hyundai’s UAM team has reportedly set out to review plans and monitor the situation.
“It is too early to assume that Uber has given up on air taxis entirely. Rather, it seems that the company is trying to overcome the current management crisis by selling off unprofitable businesses and focusing on key areas,” said an industry insider.
Uber also announced earlier that it would turn over Advanced Technology Group (ATG), a self-driving unit, to Aurora, a startup company.
Aurora is known for high-tech, self-driving solutions, and has been working with Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors since 2018.
Experts argue that Hyundai is now facing less of a chance of gaining monopoly over cooperation with Aurora’s self-driving technology, since SoftBank Group and Toyota Motor Corp. own a share in ATG.
“Hyundai should also step up for robust global cooperation and investment as an increasing number of global enterprises and investors in future mobility are forging partnerships to minimize risk,” said another industry insider.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)