13 Mar 18

Flying cars take over the skies

In the fifties and seventies, flying cars were a thing of the future. People would have videophone watches, they would live in futuristic skyscrapers and they would fly to go places.

The flying cars are still some time ahead of us, but plans to build them are growing. The Dutch company Pal-V, for instance, has been developing its flying car for some time and is expecting first deliveries in the course of 2019.

On the margins of the Geneva Motor Show, a number of major carmakers announced plans to develop their own flying cars. Porsche, Daimler, Geely and Italdesign all see a future in which people will take to the skies to combat congestion on the ground.

Porsche started work on a flying taxi but isn't expecting a launch before the end of another decade or so.

Meanwhile, Audi, Italdesign and Airbus are combining a self-driving car and a passenger drone. The Pop.Up Next concept (pictured on top) presented at this year's Geneva Motor Show is meant to solve traffic problems in cities. It incorporates a light two-seater passenger cabin that can be attached to a car module or to a flight module. Airbus is in charge of development for the flight systems and the docking system, Audi for the autonomous drive, the battery electric propulsion, the system architecture and the charging system.

The Volocopter

Daimler is participating in the German Volocopter electric flying taxi project. It will be a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft for taxi service and it will be more helicopter than car, having no wheels at all. In 2019, the first Volocopters should hit the market.

The Chinese carmaker Geely, Volvo's mother company, has bought Terrafugia, a US flying-car manufacturer that is expecting to deliver its first flying car in 2019. The Terrafugia Transition is a car that is also a plane. It features folding wings which make it possible to drive in comfort on the ground.

The vision for the future from the sixties is indeed starting to look more real every day.

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck