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Flying Cars Are Coming For Real

Once the purview of science fiction movies and cartoon shows, the flying car may finally become a real thing in just a few years. A number of companies including automobile manufacturers are working on the contraptions. Many are in the testing stage.

Why are we so enamored with the concept of flying cars? Spend some time stuck in traffic on an interstate and you’ll figure it out. Its maneuverability is greater than the common car and it is not subject to any traffic jams due to its ability to travel three-dimensional airspace rather than two-dimensional ground-based roadways.

Despite the fact that we’ve been introduced to the possibilities of flying cars through science fiction movies, the thing that will make it a viable concept is public perception. Once these machines start to really dart around the sky will people’s true perceptions about them be realized. Already, there are concerns with safety and security issues. Moreover, the use of these machines will rely on socio-demographic issues.

The advent of the flying car will also force infrastructure and legal modifications so that society can deal with them. These modifications will have to be based on virtual or live motion simulations to allow the experts to research the changes in safety equipment and policy as well as infrastructure. The environment will also have to be considered so that flying cars don’t contribute to global warming.

All of these issues will probably have to be settled on the fly because flying cars are coming. Some predict that they will start traveling the sky in just a few years. Others guess they’ll appear a little later in the decade. Whenever they are physically here, research and development is already underway. Many prototypes have been tested; one has already been issued a Special Light-Sport Aircraft airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Work Is Already Being Done

Prototypes that are being created, some of which have already seen the light of day, include:• AeroMobil, a Slovakian-based manufacturer, that is creating a hybrid model that’s designed to take off from a runway like a plane, but also morphs into a car-like vehicle that can be driven on the streets. The machine features retractable wheels and wings.

• Airbus is working on a flying car it calls Vahana that is an electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. It is self-piloted, which assures costs savings in the hiring and training of pilots. Software has already been created and is now being used on larger aircraft. The car automatically returns to a central location for maintenance, perfect for taxi services. It was flight tested for the first time in 2018 and there have been nearly 50 test flights since.

• Being developed by a German company called Volocopter, the VoloCity is the first commercially licensed electrically powered air taxi. It is controlled with a single joystick and includes 18-battery-powered rotors. A small prototype was flown across a stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2018. The machine was also flown over Singapore in October 2019. It carries two passengers; it will fly for 30 minutes and has a range of 17 miles between charges. Intel is involved in its development and has provided sensors to control positioning, electric battery packs, and a parachute packed into the top of the vehicle if the flight has to be aborted. The VoloCity’s first commercial flights are scheduled for 2022.

• BlackFly, a VTOL craft manufactured by a Canadian company called Opener, includes personal piloting and such automatic features as auto-landing and automated return home. It’s engineering allows for a pilot who has not been formally licensed. It features eight drone-like rotors that are placed across two wings. The VTOL system rocks the vehicle back and forth to generate momentum so that it can launch upward. It has a range of 40-miles with speeds of up to 72 mph.

• Transition, which is manufactured by Terrafugia, is a hybrid model that is powered by a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain. It has a boost mode that gives it an extra surge of speed when flying and it is said to be “at home” on the ground or in the air. For those of you who think that the flying car is a fantasy, consider this: a Chinese company named Geely owns Terrafugia and it also owns Volvo, Lotus, the London Taxi Company, and has nearly a 10 percent piece of Daimler, Mercedes-Benz parent company. It definitely has the funds to pursue such a venture. The Federal Aviation Administration has already issued a Special Light-Sport Aircraft airworthiness certificate to the vehicle.

• Joby Aviation, a company that’s creating a flying taxi, is in partnership with Toyota and Intel, which invested $100 million into the project. The company announced in December 2020 that it purchased Uber Elevate, a ridesharing flying-taxi business. So it appear serious about the project. The vehicle has a range of 150 miles and a top speed of 200 mph. It features six electric motors and can seat five people.

• Triumph Group has partnered with Jaunt Aviation to create a flying taxi that resembles a helicopter and plane. Typically, helicopters are noisy. To alleviate the problem the company is working on proprietary technology that reduces the speed of the main rotor while the vehicle is flying, thus making it quiet. According to aviation magazine, Aviation Today, Honeywell is working with the neophyte company and will be providing navigation software, flight control technology, and an electric propulsion system.

• South Korean automaker Hyundai created a flying taxi division in September 2019. Although no prototype has been released, it has hired a former NASA executive to manage the project.

• British sports car manufacturer Aston Martin is said to be creating a three passenger, vertical takeoff-flying car called the Volante Vision. According to Aston Martin, Rolls Royce is supplying the powertrain. The sports car maker has enlisted the help of Cranfield University and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions to help develop the concept.

• Cadillac, a division of General Motors, introduced the Halo at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show. The Halo is a VTOL drone-like vehicle. It is designed to make short trips around town. It features four rotors powered by a 90 kilowatt-hour electric motor and is expected to travel at a top speed of 56 mph.

• Boeing and Porsche have teamed to consider the development of an electric VTOL flying car.

Virtual Live Motion Simulation To Plan Things Out

According to futurists, we may be seeing the flying car on a massive commercial basis by 2025. If we are to be prepared then new technologies like virtual live motion simulation (M&S) will already be busy in assisting government agencies and other relevant entities in suggesting what modifications to society need to be done. Changes in policies and standards of regulating flying cars will be necessary as they evolve. There will also have to be modifications concerning manual and autonomous vehicle control. We will also need to prepare for the transition of personal transportation from the ground to the sky.

Technology leaps will be necessary concerning airborne navigation safety. M&S will be able to prepare us. This technology will also be used to training buyers of these cars on how to operate and maintain them. Artificial intelligence will be a major tool in the process.

Challenges Abound As Flying Cars Become Common

In some cases, rules and regulations managing the use of flying cars are already in place. For example, flying cars that weigh less than 254 pounds not including safety features don’t require a license or registration from the Federal Aviation Administration. However, these ultra light crafts cannot be flown at night or over congested areas.

As with any new and advanced technologies, a plethora of issues still have to be worked out before you see flying cars above congested highways. One concern is the fear of these vehicles continually flying overhead. Regulations will, no doubt, be needed to control them when flying over private property.

Flying cars also offer a variety of safety problems that normal cars don’t offer. For example, a flying car involved in an accident with another flying car or with a building can result in a number of injuries, fatalities and a lot of damage. The use of flying cars may require flying safety and traffic officers to monitor their travel.
Then there’s the problem of being able to track these vehicles, create new procedures to license drivers, and create flight-training programs to train drivers.

If these cars become as popular as expected, then isn’t there a chance of congestion in the skies? Will there be a need for flight controllers like those who monitor the flight patterns of commercial airlines or will all this be controlled via artificial intelligence?

What happens when a flying car experiences a mechanical problem? It may not be a problem when an ordinary car has such an issue. The driver needs only to pull the car off the road and call for assistance. That won’t be the case for drivers of flying cars. New safety procedures will have to be developed that would account for new contingencies and the driver will have to be trained for them.

It may be necessary to create designated routes for flying cars for safety and noise reasons. Corridors may have to be created away from schools, universities, hospitals, and large pedestrian and work areas within which the cars would travel.

The Federal Aviation Administration will have to consider advocating for new laws and regulations to assure these cars are used safely.

There may not be many safety issues for cities that are located in mild climates, but areas where there is extreme weather could have issues with flying cars that could threaten the safety of people on the ground.

Will drivers of flying cars be required to have insurance like drivers of ordinary cars? What would such insurance policies require? Obviously, drivers of flying cars need to be liable for mishaps. How much will insurance companies charge for such policies?


The greatest safety issue with flying cars will be takeoffs and landings. This will require regulations set down by the Federal Aviation Administration and other governmental entities. Operation of these cars will also need to be subject to safety regulations.

Pilot Training And Certification

Even today, drivers of common land-based cars must be trained and licensed to show that they are proficient operators of their vehicle. The same will be true for drivers of flying cars. There will also have to be consideration with the creation of air/ground-based maintenance systems or services and they may require certification and government regulations.


Flying cars will need facilities where they can take off and land. This will require ports on top of buildings or in open spaces in neighborhoods and business and commercial centers. Government regulations will be necessary to set policies and standards for vertical takeoff and landing ports.

And, since flying cars will depend on digital technology for all aspects of their operation including navigation, cybersecurity will be an essential infrastructure. This to will require policies and regulations to guard against cyber crimes and access.


Just the simple introduction of flying cars is not the way to make it a viable concept. All sorts of planning will be necessary. To do it right, all functions of the society will have to be involved in their assimilation.