Skies may get crowded sooner than you think. Flying cars are getting close to the finish line, hopefully making your way to work a little less congested. Want to grab a drink with a friend in a different city but you’re short on time? No problem at all, you could just hop in a flying taxi. Michael Cole, the chief executive of the European operations for Hyundai, believes that flying cars will be a regular means of transportation in cities by the “the latter part of this decade certainly”.
“A few years ago, it was a dream. Today, we are working very actively on our urban air mobility program,” he explained at International Automotive Summit. Hyundai chief also announced a collaboration with Coventry City Council to develop the UK’s first airport without a runway. The vehicles will take off and land vertically: so-called eVTOL.
The South Korean carmaker is also collaborating with Uber and was entrusted with building its air fleet. “Combining Hyundai’s manufacturing muscle with Uber’s technology platform represents a giant leap forward for launching a vibrant air taxi network in coming years,” said Uber Elevate head Eric Allison last year.
When a flying car makes history
In other flying car-related news that make you feel like you already live in the future, a prototype hybrid car-aircraft, AirCar, just completed a groundbreaking 35-minute flight. It took place between two city airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia. AirCar has a BMW engine, can fly about 1000km at 2500m height, and transforms from a car into aircraft in 2 minutes 15 seconds.
As the car’s designer Stefan Klein said for Denník N after the successful landing, the flight carries a huge significance. “This flight marks the beginning of a real dual vehicle era. It launches a new travel category and gives people back the freedom, initially reserved for automobiles.”
In the meantime, Klein’s previous project, AeroMobil, plans to get their flying cars into the air by 2023. The company conducted successful test flights earlier this year, which brings them closer to a certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). “The successful performance of The AeroMobil in passing these critical governmental certification tests brings the commercialization of a new luxury supercar, equally at home in the air or on the road one step closer to reality,” said Patrick Hessel, CEO of AeroMobil, for Avionics International. “When it comes to market in 2023, it will be the coolest thing on four wheels ever commercialized, providing unlimited freedom of travel.”
That’s a whole load of determination, vision, and bold promises. On top of that, more companies racing to make flying cars a daily reality. Brace yourself: the sky’s getting full.
Cover photo credit KLEIN VISION