American automaker General Motors (GM) is reportedly exploring a market entry into the aerial taxi market, more commonly envisioned as “flying cars”, according to anonymous sources speaking to Reuters.
The Detroit-based car manufacturer is exploring options in the aerial taxi market, according to “two people familiar with the matter” who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity. The investigation into ‘flying cars’ is part of a larger push by the automaker to look for growth in related transportation markets.
The comments to Reuters came after GM Chief Executive Mary Barra hinted in a speech at an RBC Capital Markets conference held on Monday that the company was exploring alternate uses for its new Ultium battery system.
“We believe strongly in our EV future and not just for vehicles, the strength and flexibility of our Ultium battery systems open doors for many use cases, including aerial mobility, which represents a natural next step in a zero emissions vision,” Barra said.
In response to Reuters’ enquiries, GM spokesperson Stuart Fowle declined to elaborate further on Barra’s comments, adding only that “It’s an area we’re really excited about and looking at.”
The unnamed sources, however, were happy to expand on Barra’s vague hints, explaining to Reuters that GM was weighing all options, including whether to build, supply, or simply partner with a company in the aerial taxi market.
If GM were to dip their toes into the ‘flying cars’ market, it would simply be one of the many global automakers doing so, following in the footsteps of Hyundai, Toyota, Daimler AG, Volkswagen AG, and Geely Automobile.
GM could reportedly make an announcement as early as next year.
One of the two sources who spoke to Reuters added that GM’s study of the aerial mobility market was part of the company’s larger push through its innovation group to explore other transportation markets for growth.
In late-July, GM appointed former Chairman and CEO of digital business transformation firm Publicis Sapient Alan Wexler to the newly created position of senior vice president for Innovation and Growth, reporting directly to Mary Barra.
While tying together loose threads is just that, a loose thread, GM’s focus is obviously turning towards greater exploration into innovative corners of the mobility market.
Further, and based on more solid ground, is GM’s Ultium battery system – the beating heart of its EV plans as well as the door to alternative possibilities.