When will Cars Fly?
It used to be that a flying car only seemed possible in the movies. These days, however, the world is closer than ever to experiencing this mind-boggling phenomenon. Cars may be flying sooner than you think.
The sky is the limit
The futuristic automobiles could be on the road – or sky – by 2017. As Forbes reported, Juraj Vaculik, CEO and co-founder of Slovakian company AeroMobil, made the announcement at the 2015 South by Southwest, held in Austin, Texas, that a car with stowable wings could be out within two years.
“A car with stowable wings could be out within two years.”
Not only does the company expect to bring its project to fruition sooner than expected, it also anticipates commercializing the product a lot earlier than planned. People who have a knack for fancy cars and an interest in technology might soon be able to park the hybrid vehicle in their garage at the estimated price of a few hundred thousand dollars.
A race to the top
Turns out, AeroMobil isn’t the only company working on a flying car. Terrafugia is also known for being at the forefront of this ground-breaking technology. In 2013, Business Insider stated that the company, which was founded by five MIT-trained engineers, was well on its way to releasing its first model, the Transition, a small plane that also drives on the road.
To come up with the Transition, the engineers started by researching possible roadblocks to flying. They came up with four issues including price points, weather, airport travel and where to land the vehicles.
Once they identified these obstacles, they created Transition so it can fly at 100 miles per hour, get 20 miles to the gallon and drive at up to 35 miles per hour. Similar to AeroMobil’s brainchild, Transition also has wings that can fold, making it easy to store the vehicle in a garage.
The next best thing
Several other companies are rumored to be working on futuristic automobiles. It’s to be seen who will win the race to commercialize the flying car. However, in the mean time, the world can tide itself over with the XTI Aircraft, touted by Popular Mechanics as “better than a flying car.”
According to Popular Mechanics, the XTI Aircraft isn’t quite a flying car. It’s a small jet that promises to bring people from point A to point B. Created by David Brody and a team of aviation experts, the TriFan 600 has two gas-turbine engines, two wing-mounted fans and can reach a speed of up to 400 miles per hour and an altitude of 30,000 feet.
Questions will arise
With so many players in the game, it’s inevitable that the world will see a flying car within the next few years whether it’s 12 months or a decade from now. The real question is – then what? In the same way that Amazon has had to navigate the choppy legal waters of delivering packages via drones, aviation experts who’ve invented flying cars will then be left with a number of decisions.
Flying car companies will eventually have to learn how to offer drivers insurance and mitigate risks associated with flying and driving. It might be a rocky road to meeting stringent requirements that must be met for a car to get on the road and a plane to get in the sky. But it will happen.