We all want flying cars to be a thing (even though they would undoubtedly be more dangerous than regular cars), but Porsche wants to really make flying cars.
Porsche wants to develop a flying car to potentially get in on the ground floor of an air-taxi service or flying ride-hailing program. If this makes you think The Jetsons or any number of science fiction series (we highly recommend Altered Carbon on Netflix), you’re not too far off.
According to a report from Reuters, Porsche’s sales chief Detlev von Platen told German car mag Automobilwoche that for certain destinations, a short hop in a flying car is the only way to go.
“That would really make sense,” von Platen said. “If I drive from [the Porsche plant in] Zuffenhausen to Stuttgart airport, I need at least half an hour, if I’m lucky. Flying would take only three and a half minutes.”
While the concept of a flying car has been in the public consciousness for nearly a century, technology has yet to simplify air travel to the point where everyone can learn to fly. Yet, with the advent of autonomous driving technology and artificial intelligence, the day of the flying car may soon arrive.
Last year, Porsche’s parent company Volkswagen introduced the Pop.Up concept in conjunction with Airbus. Although little more than a 2-seater urban roundabout, the Pop.Up would have the crew compartment detach from its EV chassis and be carried away by a giant quadcopter drone. Most of the flying would be completely automated, so the driver wouldn’t require a pilot’s license.
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It’s still mostly pie-in-the-sky stuff, but Porsche and Volkswagen are hardly alone in thinking that flying cars will become the next big thing in transportation. As autonomous driving technology reaches the point where the driver becomes superfluous, there’s nothing stopping that same technology from taking passengers to the skies.
Automotive giants like Geely and Toyota have already expressed interest in the technology, and Daimler has already invested in German startup Volocopter. Lilium Jet and eVolo are other companies that believe flying cars are the future, and are willing to stake big bucks on that bet.
So who knows? Maybe in the next 30 years, we’ll finally reach the era that people thought would have come at the turn of the millennia. And maybe Porsche badges will be on the back of every flying car.