At the start of January 2020, South Korean conglomerate Hyundai agreed to manufacture electric vertical take-off and landing (Hyundai eVTOL) aircraft for Uber, after the ride sharing firm doubled down on an earlier open source concept for urban flying vehicles.
Twelve months later, a job advert posted by Hyundai Motor Vehicles for a new, LA-based Chief Technology Officer (CTO) reveals a fresh hunt for the right person to make the vision a reality
Chief among the incoming technology honcho's requirements: bringing the Hyundai eVTOL to market within eight years. (Or, as Hyundai puts it in the advert for the CTO role, to "develop and communicate technology strategy and vision for our eVTOL vehicles in close collaboration with executive team to ensure... go to market in 2028".)
The hunt comes two months after J. Scott Drennan -- Hyundai's chief research and development officer, who headed up its Urban Air Mobility wing -- left after eight months in the job to start a consulting business that will provide “executive-level engineering, innovation and leadership consulting services,” around eVTOLs.
His replacement has big boots to fill and a hefty challenge ahead. Spun up a few Kubernetes clusters? Successfully migrated some cobweb-raddled file servers to the cloud? You'll need to bring more to the interview than that, aspirational, sky-seeking-CTO friends.
Hyundai is explicitly seeking "a builder and creative visionary with the ability and excitement to envision and invent revolutionary eVTOLs". You'll also need to be a "proven technical leader with 20+ years experience in inventing and bringing to market human centered technologies (with a strong preference for air vehicles)".
Last but not least: Be a "good human with high integrity practicing confidentiality and inclusivity."
Are you a "good human"? (Be honest with yourself here.) Can you build flying electric vehicles? Yes to both of the above? Hyundai Motor Vehicles would like to hear from you.
The company hopes its Hyundai eVTOL -- dubbed the S-A1 -- will have a range of just over 96km, with a cabin able to carry four passengers. It will initially have a pilot. Hyundai and Uber hope it will eventually transition to autonomous flight. Competition is hot: fellow east Asian congolomerate Toyota invested some $400 million into JoeBen Bevirt's Joby Aviation in January. As recently profiled in Forbes, that startup -- also working closely with Uber -- hopes to be taking its eVTOLs to market by 2023.