One of the many disappointments that watching too many sci-fi moves has left me with is us not having flying cars yet. I was hoping flying cars and hoverboards would be a common thing by now, but sadly sci-fi writers had too much faith in us developing these exciting new technologies. That and believing that we will survive the next 100 years given our climate change woes.
It appears though that while we are a few years too late, that flying cars are something that will become a reality soon. A future that is being driven (or is that flown) by Hyundai who has unveiled a full-scale prototype at CES (via The Verge) that isn’t just operational, but something which the company is also looking to mass-produce for Uber’s planned air taxi network too which is set to launch in 2023.
Hyundai’s Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) is essentially an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that features two tilt-rotors on the tail, and 10 other rotors distributed around the egg-shaped cabin, to aid in its transition from vertical take-off and landing to traditional flight mode.
According to The Verge, the five-person vehicle will have a cruising speed of 180 mph (290 km/h) and a cruising altitude of around 300–600 meters above ground and thanks to its electric-powered rotors will produce less noise than a combustion engine helicopter, which is crucial for cities worried about noise pollution. Crucially for an electric vehicle though is its flight distance and ability to change quickly, with the company claiming it will require only about five to seven minutes for recharging. And Hyundai says it will have a range of 100 kilometres between charging. They will need to have many charging points available to make this concept work though because the last thing anyone would want is for these things to run flat in the air.
This all sounds great, though with Hyundai yet to conduct actual test flights and the whole concept of inner-city flight still in its infancy we are still a long way away from this travel becoming mainstream. Hopefully, I will still be alive by the time that happens, and I can finally live out one of my big sci-fi fantasies.
Last Updated: January 8, 2020