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Best Car Lift – Autonomic technology moves us closer to the future of the high flying cars we have dreamed of over the past century. What should autonomous technology do with flying cars? Computing power.
A decade ago, autonomous technology was too weak to support the complexity of functionality required to maintain vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) vehicle networks in the air.
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Today, however, the company is developing sensor and processing power that can support fully autonomous flying vehicles. Although some cost and regulatory issues persist, the development of sustainable autonomy is essential for private air transport. That’s because without a computer that is responsible for flying, you have to spend weeks and thousands of dollars to get an FAA Sport license, as opposed to the mass market ambitions of companies entering the flying car space.
So flying cars are no longer just ideas filled with hot air. Right now this is a potential business opportunity. Advances in electric propulsion only make it hotter. As batteries mature toward greater power density and lower costs, the battery becomes a stronger argument against more expensive and complex fuel-props and turbines.
When we say ‘flying car’ …
By the way, “flying car” does not mean what you think its meaning.
Roadshow’s editor-in-chief Tim Stevens says the best: “The term ‘flying car’ is slang for something that will never happen.” Wheels, axles, and vehicle transmissions are in-flight loads, so that the ideal “flying car” will be more like a drone, and does not have those dead heavy items.
As a result, most industries are moving in this direction, and all vehicles listed in this roundup are VTOL engines that resemble electric-powered aircraft, human transport or drones rather than cars. Even Terrafugia TF-X, the successor of the first flyup flight of the Startup powered by Geely, Terrafugia’s Transition, keeps the user-driven design of the plane for something more drone-inspired.
This is the six most important and promising flying car display ready to transform the private transportation industry as we know it.
The Opener Blackfly, one of the most promising VTOL aircraft, is growing from the passion of the Silicon Valley startup. Kind of reminds you of Tesla, does not it?
Given the figure behind the pencil, the company’s eight-rotor VTOL Blackfly engine could be the biggest disruption to the private mobility market since Bird scooters – especially because of the price.
Blackfly inventor Marcus Leng recently told CBS News that his autonomous electric plane would cost just as much as an SUV. But unlike the typical Chevy Tahoe, Blackfly can only sit one. At 25 miles, the distance is also short. But since the company is targeting a price that most people can buy, I would not be surprised to see a glimpse of Blackfly above in the next few years if the FAA decides to take steps to drag its feet.
Currently, Blackfly’s biggest hurdle is the FAA regulation, which limits nonurban flights, only during the day. Bureaucratic obstacles and some pieces of lost production puzzle are set aside, this could hit the market in early 2019. And once out, buyers theoretically need only about 5 minutes of training before they can fly in the friendly sky.
Unlike many of the flying cars listed here, Opener is not supported by car makers or large corporations. According to the company website, “Opener is well funded and will not seek additional investors for the foreseeable future.” That’s probably because Google co-founder Larry Page supported the company, in addition to being the founder of Kitty Hawk’s startup car.
Alan Eustace, former Senior Vice-Knowledge at Google, and the world record holder for the highest altitude free fall (135,889 ft), is also one of Opener’s technical advisers. It seems, then, that the Opener is in good hands.
Rolls-Royce EVTOL Concept
Mention the name “Rolls-Royce” for most people, and their minds will glow with the minds of hyperluxury cars. But there are other Rolls-Royce that fewer people realize: multinational dollars, civilian, and defense-aerospace companies. Rolls-Royce has a hand in the power system as well as the nuclear and marine industry.
Back in 1998, Rolls-Royce plc (aerospace company) sold the BMW Group the right to use the name Rolls-Royce, insect badges and ornaments of Spirit of Ecstasy Ecstasy for automotive use. From there came the establishment of a subsidiary of the Rolls-Royce Motor Group Cars Limited.
But now the Rolls-Royce aerospace company is playing in the car sector again – though the car segment is flying. And we can not help but be excited about the EVTOL (upcoming shuttle and landing aircraft).
EVTOL will be able to carry up to five passengers, like a standard SUV. But chances are the price will be a more expensive order than your typical crossover. Expected to get off the ground in the early part of the next decade, this VTOL craft is powered turbines, but not as you would expect. Instead of pushing, the EVTOL turbine acts as a generator that provides power for up to six electric props. Configuration means distance of 500 miles – 20 times from Blackfly Opener. Rolls-Royce said the top speed could reach 250 mph.
EVTOL seems ready to increase commercial air travel instead of replacing your daily commuter, but nevertheless, the launch of a product like this could make the nightmare of high-speed rail infrastructure a thing of the past.
Vision Concept Aston Martin Volante
With easily the best VTOL engine in this product line, the Aston Martin Volante Vision Concept has a good look up to 11. Perhaps that’s not surprising, as almost everything that Aston Martin designs today is very stylish.
Rolls-Royce and Cranfield University (the same school that helped get the Siemens Mustang – just about – uphill at Goodwood) worked with Aston Martin to develop this three-seater. No more news when we can see this beautifying our sky, but armed with electric driving power and autonomous ability, expecting a launch alongside the Black Blind Opener and Rolls-Royce EVTOL.
Porsche’s ‘Flying Sports Car’
Back in March, the Roadshow broke the news that Porsche was working on a “flying sports car.” A few months later, details about this future vehicle are still scarce. Although we have not seen the concept in the flesh, we still find this promising for two reasons: First of all, because of Porsche. And also because the words “fly sports car” as interesting as the words “free ice cream.”
Porsche envisages a fully autonomous engine which, in limited circumstances, can be flown by its pilot for his own pleasure, the latter of which corresponds to Porsche’s ethos to T.
As we reported earlier this year, the development of the flying sports car is still growing, so there are so many questions left. We have not studied key details such as the type of propulsion or passenger capacity, but the project is under Porsche’s Strategy 2025, which gives clues as to when the sports car will fly closer to the flight.
To our knowledge, Volvo has not started working on flying cars, but the Swedish family relationship with the Terrafugia flying company can make development work easier for Volvo if it chooses to take its automotive business to new heights.
Since November 2017, Volvo and Terrafugia have been linked by their parent company, Chinese auto giant Geely. The Terrafugia transition, which was inaugurated in 2009, is scheduled to eventually reach production by 2019, but you still need a pilot license if you want to take it airborne. Due to that limitation, he failed to make our list of flying cars apparently ready to shake up this newborn industry.
However, Terrafugia is currently developing the TF-X, a VTOL vessel that, unlike Transitions, is designed not to require airport or pilot licenses. Instead, you will need a 100-foot clearance and a regular driver’s license. Like the Porsche flying sports car, the TF-X is also the beginning of its development, but we know some of the main specs.
Terrafugia says the TF-X will run on unleaded fuel that will drive the pod of an electric motor for a distance of 500 miles. The cruising speed is 200 mph projected. And, like Transition, the TF-X will also be small enough to fit into your single parking or garage.