This futuristic car will bring people to airports
Twenty-five new technologies are used in the six-seater vehicle.
Four Hyundai companies — Hyundai Motor, Kia, Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Transys — have been jointly developing the PBV, which is planned to be released under the Kia brand in 2025.
A PBV is designed for specific applications such as shuttle services, last-mile delivery and ride-hailing.
This PBV will be designed for ride-hailing services for people traveling to or from airports.
“Cars are no longer just a means of transportation,” Yang Heui-won, vice president at Hyundai and Kia’s product development team, said during a press event in southern Seoul. "It’s a matter of what people can do inside.
“The shift to electric vehicles offers people more interior space, and our focus is to use the space wisely to maximize people’s experiences when they are in the cars.”
Looking similar to Hyundai’s Staria minivan, the vehicle doesn't have a front passenger seat. That space can be used for luggage. There's also no trunk.
In the second row, two foldable car seats and a foldable table can be used by passengers to play games, eat or use laptops.
By folding down the two seats, the space becomes big enough to carry a baby carriage or wheelchair.
Those seats are rear-facing.
In the third row, there are three seats. The middle seat moves forward a little to prevent crowding when all the seats are full.
Three modes are available for the driver's seat: Drive mode, relax mode and office mode.
Yang emphasized the need for more deregulation before such an "innovative vehicle is actually released to the public.”
“Korean law restricts lots of systems such as rear-facing seats due to safety issues,” Yang. “It's our job to improve the system and prove its safety, and hopefully the government would consider deregulations in the future.”
The mockup is displayed at the UX Studio in Seocho, southern Seoul. The companies plan to improve the vehicle based on feedback from the general public.
Earlier in the year, Kia said it will build a PBV-dedicated factory in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi, where the automaker already has a plant. The size of the investment has not been announced.
The PBV plant will be built on an approximately 20,000-pyeong (66,120-square-meter) site in Hwaseong, with the goal of breaking ground in the first half of next year.
Mass production will start in the second half of 2025, with an annual capacity of 100,000 units. Kia aims to expand that to 150,000 to become the world’s No. 1 PBV manufacturer.
BY SARAH CHEA [firstname.lastname@example.org]