Hyundai Supernal partners Microsoft on Air Mobility

  • January 4, 2023
  • William Payne

Hyundai eVTOL subsidiary Supernal is collaborating with Microsoft on Advanced Air Mobility and aviation autonomy. The two companies will integrate advanced aviation autonomy and digital mobility onto Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

Part of the Hyundai Motor Group, Supernal is developing an Advanced Air Mobility eVTOL vehicle together with supporting ecosystem and integration with existing transit systems.

The collaboration with Microsoft will allow Supernal to run secure simulations at scale of advanced air mobility (AAM) and accelerate time to commercialisation. Supernal will furnish Microsoft with its insight and experience in developing a testing and training simulation platform for AAM.

During the initial phase of the collaboration, Microsoft will provide Supernal early access to Project AirSim, an artificial intelligence (AI)-first simulation platform, to safely build, test, train and validate autonomous aircraft transportation through simulation. Project AirSim uses Azure to generate significant amounts of environment and sensory data to train machine learning models that simulate all phases of flight and variable weather patterns. Project AirSim provides libraries of pretrained AI models and planet-scale 3D environments representing urban and rural landscapes, as well as a partner ecosystem offering synthetic data generation to help accelerate aerial autonomy.

In addition, Supernal is looking to use the Microsoft mixed-reality headset—HoloLens 2—to create augmented reality (AR) applications for future vehicle and manufacturing operations. AR resources could enable efficiencies in future AAM manufacturing and maintenance by providing technicians visual feedback during routine actions and bring engineering support virtually on-site.

“In ushering in a new frontier of transportation with Advanced Air Mobility, Supernal has an obligation to ensure safe and secure deployment of eVTOL vehicles,” said Dr. Jaiwon Shin, president of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal. “We are pleased to collaborate with Microsoft, a software leader, in responsibly advancing AAM autonomous systems and information-sharing.”

“Air transport is a key pillar in the democratisation of mobility, connecting more people, goods and places through safe flight experiences,” said Ulrich Homann, corporate vice president Cloud + AI at Microsoft. “With the Microsoft Cloud, Supernal can unlock the computing power it takes to build, validate, and deploy electric air vehicles at scale, spurring the commercialisation of advanced air mobility solutions.”