As you know, a few months ago we talked about the cars of the future: autonomous, zero emissions, and full Internet access. But lately we seem to be reading lots of news about a different type of car, one that will no longer be on the road but on the sky. Do you think we will eventually fly cars instead of driving them? Let us show you the latest flying car developments by important technology and transport companies.
The first flying car will be marketed at the end of 2017. Larry Page -the founder of Google- is behind the project as the main investor of the start-up, Kitty Hawk. Kitty Hawk Flyer is an all-electric aircraft that resembles a hydroplane, weighs 100 kg and can reach speeds of 40 km/h with a 75 km range. The first flight demonstration was conducted recently. Watch the video and tell us what you think.
But Kitty Hawk is not the only company behind this great idea; the US corporation Terrafugia has been working for years on its TF-X, which is expected to hit the road in 2018. It is equipped with propellers similar to those of a helicopter. After taking off and once in the sky, it can reach 322 km/h with a total range of 800 km.
Toyota has also joined the flying fever, investing in Cartivator, a start-up consisting of 30 youngsters from Tokushima University headed by drone expert Masafumi Miwa. They have developed the Skydrive. Similar to a drone, it has room for just one person and can fly 10 metres high from the ground and reach 100 km/h. Toyota plans on having a prototype next year and presenting a commercial product at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Half way between a car and a drone is project Pop.up, developed by another big company, Airbus, in a partnership with Italdesign. They presented their transport concept last year at the Geneva International Motor Show. Their vehicle can be used both on the road and on the air, with vertical take-off and landing.
Another important development is that by Aeromobil. They have been working on models since 1989 and it seems that their fourth prototype will soon be in the market. The vehicle can turn from car into plane within seconds; it uses petrol and has been said to fly at 200 Km/h with an approximate range of 700 Km.
Flying cars also have a huge potential as taxis. Uber has promised they will start testing an air taxi service in Dubai and Dallas in 2020. But before that, drones EHang -from China- says they will supply autonomous flying taxis to Dubai. As of July this year! Their drones will be able to carry a passenger with a suitcase with a maximum weight of 117 kilos and will fly at 100 km/h with half an hour range. And Lilium Aviation has already completed their first test flight in Germany with Lilium Jet. With investment by the European Space Agency and technology from the Technical University of Munich, this aircraft with an electric battery and 300 km range at 300 km/h is another flying taxi candidate.
ISTOBAL is committed to the new technologies and innovation. We cannot wait for the future to come true and start washing all these flying vehicles. What about you? Are you ready to fly?