Flying cars have been in our science fiction movies during the last century and it could soon be a reality. Many companies such as Uber, Airbus, Bell helicopter, and Joby are currently working on these flying cars, and they are expecting to fly their first aircrafts in the year 2022. While some progress is being made with regulators, it could be the year 2025 before we see a commercial service launched in selected cities, according to AerospaceExport and their analysis of the eVTOL projects.
We probably won’t see these type of aircrafts being used as a main method of transport in 2025, and probably not even in the next decade after as well. But, as technology develops, we could see flying cars in our skies by around 2040. Flying taxis will likely be used in combination with autonomous ground vehicles for hub to hub (60 km trip) transportation needs. Autonomous ground vehicles will be used for the “last miles”, which would be the transport need from the hub to the final destination of the user. Flying taxis would be probably used first to provide high speed transportation to major airports from cities centers.
To enable such new transportation solutions, current aircraft manufacturers have been working heavily on electric and hybrid electric technologies. This research is proceeding at an astounding pace, and there has been great strides taken even in the last 2 years. This will allow significant noise reduction, lower operating and aircrafts costs, compared with current helicopters.
Where are we on Development?
There have been several first prototypes being tested from different eVTOL manufacturer in different countries. It is interesting to highlight that Australia and New Zealand have attracted several projects thanks to their regulatory agencies who have welcomed flight tests in their airspace. The USA also has taken a central role in this technology development, with many start ups ploughing significant amounts of money in to develop the technology. Uber seems to be one of the major companies in the auto industry at the moment who seem to be taking a keen interest in flying cars, so it is thought they will be a major player in future.
Where do you think the technology will lead us? Do you think we will see flying cars in our skies by 2025? Or are you one of the naysayers who believe that this technology will never take off? Let us know what you think!