There was a time when flying cars were nothing but a fantasy, but according to a recent Chicago Sun-Times article, as early as 2023 we could start seeing them take to the skies. There are a few major companies, some of whom are working together, that want to bring air taxis and other flight capable vehicles to the public. Details about how far, fast, and long these flight capable vehicles, but one thing is for certain, they will be pricy.
The Jetsons, But For Real
Uber, the ride-share giant, is one of the major companies working to bring air taxis to major cities by 2023. The company has designated the service as Uber Air and will feature a helicopter type vehicle. The capabilities of the air taxi include a flight range of about 400 miles, a run time of about 4 hours, and carrying capacity of 1000 pounds. Reports say the vehicles can travel up to 118mph and a refuel time of only 10 minutes.
No Traffick In The Skies
Air taxis sound amazing, but what about owning your own flying car? According to the article, Asaka, a dual purpose vehicle capable of road driving and flying. The company, Alka’i, hopes the duel capable vehicle change transportation for the public. The article states the vehicle can carry a single passenger with a flight range of 350 miles. The projected price for the Asaka will be $200,000, but the cost may drop it over time to a mere $50,000.
Another flight-capable vehicle, the Skai, will feature 3 hydrogen fuel cells and six rotors. According to the article, the company behind the Skai shows no concerns about passing the Federal Aviation Administration, as this vehicle has not been approved yet.
One big question not answered is what type of insurance flying cars, capable of road travel and flight, will use. Its fun to think about flying cars and what they can do in terms of making transportation faster, but what about the downsides. Flying cars, especially the first generations, will have flaws and accidents will occur. It will be interesting to see how companies determine rates, if bad driving history will bar people from insurance and these vehicles, and if insurance will be mandatory.
Take Home Message
The future is right around the corner and in the air. Flying cars, especially taxi-like services, could reduce traffic and cut down travel times, but nothing has been proven yet. Companies still need to run test flights, some as soon as next summer. Meanwhile, federal regulators will need to iron our rules before anyone takes to the skies.