When it comes to the flying car technology, no one really knows when this is actually going to happen. Just Google it and you will read news reporting about Uber’s flying cars coming in Los Angeles by 2020 and other news claiming this won’t happen until 2023, at least. If the date remains uncertain, I can tell you for sure that you will request an Aurora eVTOL in the future.
Aurora Flight Sciences is a Boeing company actively working on the future of on-demand air transport to, hopefully, end traffic congestion soon. And in order to end the road nightmare that millions of commuters suffer on a daily basis, Aurora has a plan. Actually more than a plan, it’s a program: The eVTOL program.
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s the eVTOL flying car!
Google SEO might not like it, but how awesome this title is? The eight-lift-rotor aircraft will use vertical takeoff to ease passenger boarding and vehicle servicing in populated areas. Big cities will all feature vertiports in the years to come. I can already picture myself waiting for my eVTOL flying car in the middle of Union Square in San Francisco or when leaving the airport. Just like you can find areas for rides that you request through apps, there will be dedicated areas for flights that you will also request through apps.
After vertical takeoff, the eVTOL will use its cruise propeller and fixed wings to fly you over the city at high speed. No doubt that this fast hub-to-hub service will attract many busy businessmen and big city party party-animals.
When it’s time to land after a fully wing-borne flight, the inbound transition happens and the eight lift rotors take over the cruise propeller and the fixed wings to bring passengers back on the solid ground.
Towards fully autonomous vehicles
The Aurora vehicle currently allows for two passengers – one of them being the pilot – and for their luggage. However, the safety pilot will only fly the aircraft during the first few years. The goal of the Manassas, Virginia-headquartered company is to sell fully autonomous vehicles in the long term.
The eVTOL will have to make it through a ton of safety tests. Just like it is required for any other aircraft. Called test bed flights, this series of verifications will test the flying car’s operability and survivability. The tests will then review the safety of the engine. These verifications will begin in 2020 in Dallas, USA, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
For longer distances, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop is coming… I want to say soon but it might not be as soon as the 2020’s, though. Unless…? Anyway, the Hyperloop is on its way too. And for even longer distances, SpaceX will fly you across the globe in less than one hour with its BFR. Doesn’t the future of transportation look bright and exciting?