2018 is the Future: A Date is Set for Self-Driving Flying CarsAuthor: Daniel Mather
Flying cars have long been viewed as perhaps the epitome of futurist fantasy and yet they could soon be set to become a reality.
At least that’s if a business called Terrafugia has anything to do with it because the US company is seemingly set to achieve the impossible and create cars that do indeed fly.
Amazingly, the company has now set a date of 2018 as the point at which its latest and most ambitious prototypes will be taking to the skies.
“Integrating the speed and safety of aviation with the freedom of driving your car, we aim to catalyze a revolution in personal transportation,” explains one of Terrafugia’s latest promotional materials.
Driven to fly
Remarkably, the US company is already well on its way to realizing its lofty ambition of seeing its roadworthy vehicles flying to and from locations in all different parts of the world.
Its current prototypes are called ‘Transition’ models and they are already legally allowed to be driven as cars and flown as private aircraft.
Although still in the testing phase, hopes are high that these vehicles will soon be entered into full production and become increasingly common sights in some parts of the US and elsewhere in the world.
Looking further ahead though and Terrafugia is aiming to up the ante quite significantly and to create the truly futuristic flying cars it calls its TF-X models.
Quite what the TF-X price point might be is anyone’s guess but there will no doubt be plenty of people only too happy to pay whatever it costs to get behind the wheel of a flying car that can take off and land vertically and boast a flight range of up to 500 miles.
The TF-X remains in the design and planning phase but it is hoped that by 2018 and its maiden voyage, it will be integrating some of the very latest in self-driving, safety-related technological features.
Future of transportation
Quite how commonplace flying cars will become over the course of the coming years remains to be seen but there’s no doubt that Terrafugia is serious about turning its prototype vehicles into desirable machines and the basis of a viable business.
Even in recent weeks, the company has appointed Frank Cappuccio, a former executive vice president of the aviation and aerospace powerhouse Lockheed Martin, to its official board of advisors.
And Cappuccio has arrived apparently convinced of the potential for Terrafugia’s Transition and TF-X models to “revolutionize personal transportation”.
Now with their early prototypes having received the blessing of the relevant aviation authorities in the US, the TF-X are set to take flight in earnest in 2018.
These early flights will be unmanned for safety reasons but for Massachusetts-based Terrafugia there is every expectation that its 300-horsepower vehicles will soon be making routine flights and cruising through the skies above cities worldwide at speeds of up to 200 mph.