Hyundai Motor Chairman Chung Eui-sun, right, poses with Rolls-Royce CEO Warren East after signing a memorandum of understanding on air mobility during the Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom on July 19. Behind them is the vehicle cabin concept of its electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor

Two automotive giants will collaborate in AAM market

Hyundai Motor said Tuesday that it would join forces with Rolls-Royce to cooperate in bringing electric and hydrogen technology to the advanced air mobility (AAM) market.

Toward that end, chiefs of the two automotive giants signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of Farnborough Airshow in the United Kingdom.

Under the partnership, Rolls-Royce will offer its aviation and certification capabilities, while Hyundai plans to contribute with its hydrogen fuel cell technologies and industrialization capability.

Hyundai said that the two companies shared a vision of leading the emerging AAM market by delivering battery-electric and full cell-electric solutions.

“We are pleased to partner with Rolls-Royce to draw upon their aviation and certification expertise to accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion systems,” Hyundai Motor President Shin Jai-won said.

Hyundai has delivered hydrogen fuel cell systems to the global automotive market and is now exploring the feasibility of electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies for aerospace integration.

“We believe this to be the key technology to support the global aviation industry’s goal to fly net zero carbon by 2050,” Shin said.

Rolls-Royce Electrical President Rob Watson also expressed his hype on the two-way alliance, expressing the company’s goal of achieving net zero carbon by 2050.

“We are delighted to partner with Hyundai Motor Group, which provides a valuable opportunity to leverage and build on the capabilities each company brings from the aerospace and automotive sectors,” he said.

“The AMM market offers great commercial potential and this

Experts expect that battery and oil models will compete to become the mainstream air mobility vehicles.

“For a short-distance flight like the urban air mobility (UAM), battery models can be adopted. But for a long-distance flight like the regional air mobility (RAM), oil models will be more competitive,” Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim University said.

The UAM model involves a specific city and the surrounding areas, while the RAM model is about air traveling for moving farther between cities.

Earlier this year, Hyundai Motor announced its AAM business model, which includes both the UAM and RAM segments.

The company’s U.S. unit of Supernal strives to begin commercial services of the UAM model in 2028 in the country. The target period for RAM services is in the 2030s.

Hillary Lee studied literature in Seoul. Lee has big interests on various topics including IT, BT, business and finance. Lee can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.