It is nearly 47 years from the time period that was present in the Jetson’s, but it may only be two more years until we are able to purchase a flying car. Aeromobil, the brains behind the space age car, has been working out the kinks of their design over the last five years. The third generation model was revealed last year in October. This year, at SXSW, Aeromobil’s CEO revealed that he and his company feel confident the consumer version will be available as soon as 2017.
AeroMobil CEO Juraj Vaculik is optimistic that his company will overcome any challenges that currently present themselves, already overcoming past issues, so a flying car will become a reality. Vaculik stated that the current prototype will require a human to take the controls and drive or fly. However, future versions are expected to become autonomous, allowing for the human passenger to become more productive in his or her travels.
Currently, if an individual were to purchase the Aeromobil flying car, he or she would need to not only take control, but also possess a pilot’s licence. However, Vaculik and his partner, Stefan Klein hope the autonomous feature will make the flying car more accessible to individuals that are not licensed. According to Aeromobil’s chief communication officer, an autonomous version would be much safer than a human controlled version, as reported by CNET.
“Maybe 10 years from now, it needs to be automated. With an algorithm, it would be managed much better by a computer than by man.”
Engadget reported that the flying car is expected to achieve a flying range of just about 430 miles, and will only need about 650 feet to take off and land. Adding take off and landing zones parallel to highways would be rather easy and non disruptive to traditional travelers.
Vaculik feels that moving traditional transportation from a 2D to a 3D space will decrease traffic jams in highly traveled areas and allow for more robust commutes. Still, he recognizes that there will be bureaucracy and red tape to battle through.
“We need to somehow deal with 100 years of bureaucracy in the air, and 100 years of bureaucracy on the road,”
In its current state, the expected retail price is a couple hundred thousand euros, much higher than the average consumer can afford for a vehicle. However, as the technology becomes more mainstream, there are hopes of a much less expensive model.
[Photo Courtesy: International Business Times]