Flying cars could leave the realms of science fiction and become commercially available vehicles within our lifetime, according to Terrafugia, a Massachusetts-based company working on making the futuristic transportation a reality.
The company (best known for the Transition vehicle which was basically a plane that also doubled up as a car) are working on a new airbound vehicle called the TF-X, which it believes will be ready to start selling by the early 2020s.
The TF-X looks like a mash-up between a car, a plane and a helicopter. Taking off vertically using electric-powered rotor blades mounted on each side, its rotor blades fold away when in flight, with gas engines taking over when the vehicle is flying.
Computer controlled, the vehicle drives itself in the air and lands automatically (with a prompt that clearance is good from the passenger) with the wings folding away as it comes in to land. It then can be driven off down the road like a conventional car, using a hybrid engine.
With much of the control taken over by autopilot, Terrafugia state that anyone with a driving license could learn how to control the TF-X in just five hours. With a range of 500 miles, it’d sure ease traffic congestion on a bank-holiday weekend (with traffic easing one of Terrafugia’s main selling points to investors).
Still some way off from production Terrafugia are not yet discussing cost, but tease that it’d be in line with that of high-end luxury cars.
Check out Terrafugia’s concept video in the clip below: