Is the Flying Car Ready For Take-off?

A little white winged pod lifts itself off the ground and glides off into the distance. The whole movement looks effortless. It’s like watching Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder, except we’re in a nondescript airfield in Germany, not the planet Tatooine.

Echoes of Star Wars perhaps help explain why the pod’s maker, Lilium, secured, $90m (£69m) investment from, among others, Chinese tech giant Tencent, although the company states its aim has more to do with solving transport problems: “We have highly congested cities and we can do things to improve matters,” said Lilium’s Remo Gerber. “We’re trying to move from a niche transport vehicle to a mass-transport one”.

Lilium

Lilium is not flying solo. Prototypes by rival ventures are also passing their test flights. So the prospect of flying cars may not be all that far away. Here are six projects working towards bringing Back to the Future into the present.

This German aviation startup, founded in 2014, is working on a five-seater air taxi jet, with the aim of making the first manned test flight in 2019.

Top speed 186mph (300 kilometres per hour).

Power Electric.

Takeoff and landing Vertical.

They say Users will be able to access city centres by calling the air taxi at the push of a button.

However, creating the large network of landing pads on top of city buildings, as envisioned by Lilium, will take considerable time and money. With no advanced on-ground driving feature, can we even class this as a flying car?

Terrafugia: The Transition

Terrafugia’s “roadable aircraft”, in development since 2006, drives like a typical car on the ground and fits in a standard single-car garage. It can be pre-ordered now for $300,000.

Top speed 100mph.

Cruise range 400 miles.

Power Unleaded petrol.

They say: To drive it you need a US sport pilot certificate that can be “earned in as few as 20 hours”.

However, it can fit into a garage, but what if there’s no runway next to the garage?

Kitty Hawk: The Flyer

Kitty Hawk, backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, has created this open-seated, propeller-driven machine for recreational use. The retail version will be available by the end of this year.

Power Electric.

Maximum flight time 22 minutes.

Takeoff and landing Vertical on water.

They say Anyone in the US can drive the Flyer as a pilot’s licence isn’t required.

However, the launch in April was anti-climactic: the Flyer looked more like a hovering jet-ski than a flying car. If you have a spare $5,000-10,000, it might be a bit of fun during the summer but it’s not a practical transport option.

Uber: Elevate

Uber has hired a long-serving Nasa researcher and plans to take its ride-sharing to a vertical level with Elevate, though it’s tackling market feasibility barriers such as certification, battery technology and infrastructure first.

Power Electric.

Takeoff and landing Vertical.

They say Using distributive electric propulsion (DEP), i.e., multiple small engines, the vehicle will be “barely audible”, thus suitable for urban areas.

However, the Uber seems to be taking a considered approach, working alongside regulators, Nasa, air traffic control and even governments before jumping in to the flying car market.

Airbus: Pop.Up

Best known for its double-decker A380 jet, Airbus premiered its solution for urban transit at Geneva international motor show in March. The Pop.Up consists of a carbon-fibre passenger capsule that functions as a two-seater electric car when attached to a chassis, or as an aircraft when a drone is summoned by smartphone to remove the capsule from the chassis.

Power Electric.

Travel distance per charge 62 miles. Capsule dimensions 2.4 x 1.4 metres.

They say A “multi-modal vehicle”, rather than a flying car, Pop.Up will enables passengers to select the fastest, cheapest route through advanced AI.

However, Pop.Up requires technologies such as electric propulsion that are not yet advanced enough, so it’s unlikely we’ll be seeing this project turn into reality soon.

Aeromobil

Converting from a car to a plane in three minutes, this is the closest we come to the sci-fi dream. Certified for use in the EU and US, Aeromobil’s Slovakian makers are accepting pre-orders for $1m, with plans to deliver the first models in 2020.

Power: Electric on road, conventional aircraft fuel in flight.

Top speed 99mph.

Takeoff and landing Vertical.

They say: It’s a real flying car.

And it really is a real flying car! It might need a runway to take off and land, but the prospect of being able to fly somewhere and continue the journey in a viable, not-too-silly looking vehicle, is exciting.

Guardian:

You Might Also Read:

Uber Wants Self-Flying Vertical Takeoff Cars:

Self - Flying Aircraft Take To British Skies:

What Will The Car Of 2040 Be Like?:

« Cybersecurity Investigations After US Naval Collision
Facebook T0 Spend $1b On VideoProduction »

Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

CYRIN

CYRIN

CYRIN® Cyber Range. Real Tools, Real Attacks, Real Scenarios. See why leading educational institutions and companies in the U.S. have begun to adopt the CYRIN® system.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Free Access: Cyber Security Supplier Directory listing 5,000+ specialist service providers.

eBook: Practical Guide to Security in the AWS Cloud

eBook: Practical Guide to Security in the AWS Cloud

AWS Marketplace would like to present you with a digital copy of the new book, Practical Guide to Security in the AWS Cloud, by the SANS Institute.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

Practice Labs

Practice Labs

Practice Labs is an IT competency hub, where live-lab environments give access to real equipment for hands-on practice of essential cybersecurity skills.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81 is a Zero Trust Network as a Service designed to simplify secure network, cloud and application access for the modern and distributed workforce.

BackupVault

BackupVault

BackupVault is a leading provider of completely automatic, fully encrypted online, cloud backup.

2-sec

2-sec

2-sec is a specialist provider of cyber security audit, penetration testing and advisory services.

Texplained

Texplained

Texplained specializes in security audits of microchips to identify vulnerabilities and protect against invasive cyber attacks.

X-act Forensics

X-act Forensics

X-act forensics are computer forensic experts with experience in cases of computer fraud, intellectual property theft, and social networking cases.

Rosberg System

Rosberg System

Rosberg System provides security and management solutions for wireless mobile devices.

Optiv

Optiv

Optiv is a market-leading provider of end-to-end cyber security solutions. We help clients plan, build and run successful cyber security programs that achieve business objectives.

RedLock

RedLock

The RedLock Cloud 360TM platform correlates disparate security data sets to provide a unified view of risks across fragmented cloud environments.

SpecterOps

SpecterOps

SpecterOps has unique insight into the cyber adversary mindset and brings the highest caliber, most experienced resources to assess your organizations defenses.

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)

The Internet Crime Complaint Center provide the public with a reporting mechanism to submit information to the FBI concerning suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity.