Powered by electricity

Drone-based technology is giving way to innovations in the flying car industry – turning the “sci-fi” concept into a reality. This past May, ride-sharing app Uber debuted its flying taxi prototype – with hopes to launch by 2023. Joining the movement are Boeing, Airbus, Kitty Hawk (Google), and the UK’s Vertical Aerospace. The Verge reports on how the Uber idea would work, which uses electric power as fuel.

“These aircraft will be electrically powered, and Uber says they’ll fly at an elevation of 1,000 to 2,000 feet. The company envisions thousands of its flying taxis shuttling passengers between rooftop “skyports” and landing sites in cities, each of which will be equipped to handle 200 takeoffs and landings every hour.”

Vertical Aerospace’s tested concept also uses electricity, and hopes to overcome challenges like range. “Now, Vertical Aerospace will continue to focus on developing the technology needed for longer-range flights, a hurdle that all eVTOLs face due to current limitations in battery technology.” – The Robb Report

The electric car race – competitive advantage

Even though companies like Boeing and Airbus are known for building aircrafts, developing a successful electric car is a whole separate beast. At this moment, it’s unclear which company will emerge as the forerunner. One advantage these companies have is a long-term history of remaining compliant with aviation regulatory boards.

“Commuters aren’t going to embrace flying craft unless their safety is assured, but getting approval from aviation regulators for people-carrying drones will take millions of dollars and several years—and that’s once agencies such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration decide what the standards should be. No such standards currently exist.” – Bloomberg

If all these companies prove successful, the global skyline could change as soon as 2020 – turning shows and movies like “The Jetsons,” and “Back to the Future into a Reality.” This doesn’t even take into account the innovations occurring by independent makers and inventors.

Image source – The Verge