John Charles Robbins MIAMI TODAY
Miami signs deal to develop Advanced Air Mobility
April 5, 2022
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  • It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s an electric air vehicle! Did someone say flying car?

    Supernal, a fledgling smart mobility service provider, has reached an agreement with the City of Miami to enable development of advanced air mobility, or AAM.

    Supernal announced it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the city to create a comprehensive engagement framework that will enable development of AAM.

    The agreement affords Supernal and the city the opportunity to take meaningful steps toward delivering innovative, multimodal and community-focused mobility solutions that benefit people and society, according to the company.

    This first-of-its-kind collaboration aims to increase equity of access, incubate local talent and serve as a replicable model for human-centered future cities.

    “We are honored to play a role in responsibly co-creating the future of mobility for the City of Miami,” said Jaiwon Shin, CEO of Supernal and president of Hyundai Motor Group.

    “I’m excited to transform Miami into an epicenter of creativity and innovation,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez at the announcement.

    Mr. Shin said, “Because of the leadership demonstrated by Mayor Suarez, our work together will help establish the city of Miami as a model for AAM market development we hope to replicate in other cities.”

    Mr. Suarez said, “This next chapter in the city’s long history includes leading the future of mobility and making it easier for people to move around.

    “This MOU will pave the way for cities nationwide and across the world to solve mobility challenges that will enhance the quality of life for their constituents,” he said.

    AAM has the potential to transform communities by enabling efficient inter- and intra-city transport, including access to traditionally underserved and remote locations, reducing carbon emissions and providing a seamless, end-to-end passenger experience, among other benefits, the company said.

    The MOU creates a mechanism for the city to work with industry and community stakeholders to develop inclusive and forward-thinking policies that enable AAM and best serve Miami’s citizens and residents, Mr. Shin said.

    As part of the MOU, Supernal and the city are to collaborate with community organizations to pinpoint current gaps in existing transportation, determine how AAM can help and, if needed, recommend potential new policies.

    The MOU also includes launching workforce development and education initiatives that recruit and incubate local talent and integrate AAM into existing transit networks, such as Metrorail, Metrobus and Metromover, among other systems.

    The policies developed and insights gained through this collaboration can serve as a model for municipal leaders nationwide as more cities begin to adopt new mobility solutions.

    Venture Miami, the bridge-building team in the mayor’s office responsible for developing the city’s innovation and technology ecosystem, is to oversee key aspects of the understanding and convene regular working group meetings and collaborations with influential community, business and education leaders to outline the necessary steps to bring AAM to life in Miami.

    “Our partnership with the City of Miami is about more than selling electric air vehicles or securing rights to establish operations,” said Diana Cooper, global head of policy and regulation of Supernal. “At this stage, our interest is bringing together different public and private sector voices to explore when and how AAM can address the city’s transportation needs and challenges.”

    Ms. Cooper added, “From there, we will create a roadmap together based on community input and other considerations. When Miami succeeds, Supernal succeeds.”

    The company launched as the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group in January 2020 and debuted as Supernal in November 2021.

    In addition to working with public and private stakeholders to shape the emerging AAM industry, Supernal is developing a family of electric air vehicles. It says it plans to launch its first commercial flight in 2028.