Kirkland, Wash.-based Echodyne, a next-generation radar platform company backed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, has forged a partnership with Supernal to enhance the safety of that company’s air mobility system.
Supernal, a Washington, D.C.-based subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group, says it’s making a minority investment in Echodyne as part of the deal — but the amount of the investment was not immediately disclosed.
The newly announced strategic agreement adds to Supernal’s collaborations with Microsoft, BAE Systems, Honeywell and other companies on an air transport system that could go into service by as early as 2028.
Supernal is developing an electric-powered, vertical-takeoff-and-landing air vehicle, also known as an eVTOL, along with the ground-based systems required to support short-range, taxi-style flights. For example, the company’s website suggests that its eVTOL could carry passengers between Seattle and Tacoma in 25 minutes.
The precise timetable for commercial operations is likely to depend not only on technological developments, but also on the Federal Aviation Administration’s establishment of a regulatory system for advanced air mobility.
Under the terms of the partnership, Echodyne’s radar system could be used for in-flight situational awareness as well as for ground-based tracking installations around vertiports and flight corridors.