AeroMobil to Release Flying Car by 2017, Self-Flying Car Thereafter
Perhaps in two years time, traffic jams may no longer be a motorist’s problem. In a South By Southwest Interactive (SXSW) conference on March 15, AeroMobil CEO Juraj Vaculik told the press that his company will be launching the flying roadster, a two-seater, light sports car-slash-aircraft exclusively marketed for “wealthy supercar buyers and flight enthusiasts”.
The Slovakia-based Aeromobil had unveiled its flying car prototype in the 2013 Montreal Aerotech Congress, presented by company founders Vaculik and his friend Stefan Klein. In October last year in Vienna, it presented the Aeromobil 3.0, an advanced flying roadster prototype that fits into standard parking spaces and lands on grass strips of 200 meters.
However, Vaculik’s dream of inventing a flying car came in much, much earlier. Some 25 years ago, the executive had announced the need for revolutionizing personalizing transportation, and had coined three modern-day transportation prisons namely, traffic prison, airport prison and bad infrastructure prison. He has since then worked out blueprints for addressing transportation concerns.
The newest flying roadster prototype will have about 700 kilometer- flying range on regular gasoline. It will operate with a partial autopilot and a parachute that automatically deploys during emergencies. However, pricing for the roadster is yet to be determined, but Vaculik said it would be around a few hundreds of thousands of US dollars.
Meanwhile, Vaculik said the company is busy with another product, an upgrade of the flying roadster – a self-flying, self-driving car intended for the general market. The Automobil co-founder disclosed the self-flying car would be designed for both private and shared use. He added that this design would be “a very efficient way to move”, providing transport options in “places that aren’t connected by road and could reduce the need for expensive roads in the future”. Vaculik said that the flying cars could reduce traffic congestion being spread in various airspace layers and staying below three-kilometer altitude.
Vaculik, however, admitted having concerns over regulations and certifications for the flying roadster. He also said that drivers will need a valid pilot’s license to run the car. But said that Automobil has strong support from the European Union and that a new, regulatory category will be created for the mass-market flying car.