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What Comes After The Flying Car? An Autonomous Version To Follow

The Flying Car is back in the news.

Its third-gen prototype was revealed last October, and this past weekend at SXSW, AeroMobil CEO Juraj Vaculik revealed a bit more about the company’s past and future and the challenges that remain to go from prototypes to fully fledged consumer vehicles – which the company plans to accomplish in 2017.

AeroMobil’s current vehicle prototype can transform from a car into an airplane in seconds and it can travel at speeds up to 124 mph. The 2-seat transformer is about 20 feet long and 7.5 feet wide.

“Maybe 10 years from now, it needs to be automated,” said Stefan Vodocz, AeroMobil’s chief communications officer, according to CNET. “With an algorithm, it would be managed much better by a computer than by man.”

The startup from Slovakia made its announcement this past weekend at the South by South West festival in Austin, Texas. AeroMobil is one of the finalists at the SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards.

AeroMobil’s new flying car would be able to take off and land on grassy strips, not just on airport runways. Juraj Vaculik, CEO of the company, said that the idea behind the car is for people to make trip of about 500 miles without having to switch vehicles.

Owners of the flying vehicle would have to get certified as a pilot before flying the car.

Vaculik said the company is still trying to test our different engines and will soon start crash tests, but it should be ready by 2017 so it can be sold in the market.

While political restrictions on travel are no longer such an issue, Vaculik still sees the world’s drivers and air travelers restricted by other bottlenecks: traffic jams, inefficient air travel (particularly for trips under 400 miles), and a lack of infrastructure for places where people want to go. Naturally, he feels flying cars can alleviate such issues. “We need to move traffic from a 2D space to a 3D space.”

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Vaculik did not reveal how much the first flying car model would cost, but he said he hopes technology cost keeps going down. This could mean that the plane has the potential to become a hobby for the rich.

Source: Engadget

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