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The flying car has been considered as a utopia reserved for science fiction movies since a long time ago, nevertheless, it could finally invest our cities much earlier than expected. The major manufacturers have already delivered promising prototypes and some companies, such as Uber, are working on this project, trying to launch new services around these technologies. Let us give you an overview of these futuristic vehicles that could integrate our daily lives.

 

Airbus: two prototypes and two targeted publics.

With « Vahana », Airbus intends to develop a flying vehicle accessible to individuals. Created two years ago, this prototype is still very young, and its test flights have only lasted a few seconds. However, the tests continue for this driverless autonomous drone, which would be able to accommodate one passenger, to reach 175 km per hour and to travel 62 kilometers with its autonomy. 

Airbus does not only rely on Vahana: the company also is on the first page of new-technologies-specialized magazines with « Pop Up », a vehicle capable of both rolling and flying. In this case, the prototype is intended for commercial use, because customers could « remote control » their Pop Up with a mobile phone app. Research currently focuses on better batteries to multiply transport cycles, at the same time, while work is also being done on regulation and safety.  

Airbus Vahana

Volocopter: taxis soon in our cities? 

After a good demonstration at the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in 2018, the Volocopter still creates a strong enthusiasm. This prototype from German construction, capable of accommodating two passengers, travels without any pilot. The Volocopter is presented as being able to go up to 100 km/h with a cruising speed between 50 and 70 km/h. Extremely quiet, it has an autonomy of 27 minutes. It is already intended fortransport companiesand could allow cities to develop their mobility solutions. 

Volocoptère

Lilium, the flying shuttle that beats them all

Even though the company has spent several years working on a two-passengers flying car, Lilium Aviation is working on another model that should be developed by 2025, capable of carrying up to 5 passengers. In this case, the goal would not only be to move inside one city, but rather to go from one city to another. To give itself the means for its ambitions, the company wants to break all records: 

Objectives: maximum speed of 300 km/h and an autonomy of 300km. 

Lilium Aviation

Uber Elevate, flying taxis soon!  

Uber has already revolutionized the taxi market in cities, and now the company intends to upset the modes of transport by proposing flying car containing seats for 4 passengers and a pilot. The company will develop a new service thanks to this prototype, between taxi and carpooling on demand. This service could invest cities like Los Angeles and Dubai very soon. Jeff Holden, Uber product manager, also announced in the « Elevate » project that these taxis should eventually finally become fully autonomous. 

uber elevate

 

EHang 184, one of the most successful flying car projects 

Initially, the Chinese company EHang was created to manufacture drones. But today, all eyes are on its EHang 184, a flying taxi already planned for the city of Dubai. It is the most concrete prototype in the field of flying cars: it has already transported the first passengers. Some of these flying cars circulate in China to take photographs from the sky or to carry artificial organs. 

Autonomous Taxi

 

Manufacturers continue to develop their projects for vehicles flying in the service of the city, the first prototypes are tested in the perspective of the first POC… Despite their great potential, their arrival will be gradual and these vehicles will not invest in the streets and garages of private individuals as of tomorrow… However, it is important that these innovations be closely monitored in order to reflect today on the design and development of tomorrow’s smart-city. 

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