Hyundai Invests in Drone Startup

Hyundai Motor Co. is making an unspecified investment in Top Flight Technologies Inc., a Boston-based startup that is developing technologies for aerial drones.

The carmaker plans to work with Top Flight to develop commercial applications for the devices. Initial areas under consideration include cargo transport, inspection services, industrial surveillance, high-definition mapping and logistics support.

Top Flight says its patented hybrid-electric power system allows drones to fly for as long as two hours and carry payloads as heavy as 4 kg (8.8 lbs). The company also has developed a special console that can control multiple drones at the same time.

Hyundai will provide Top Flight with technical support related to manufacturing and automation. The carmaker envisions using the drones to help create high-definition maps for autonomous vehicles.

Founded in 2014, Top Flight says its drones are being used in applications for aerospace, agriculture and transportation customers.