According to The Economist, "more than a dozen flying cars are in development,", thanks in part to advances in technology and changes in regulation, with Terrafugia's Transition to be the first commercial model to be launched. We're probably not going to see too many on the road, though: with a starting price of $279,000, this ain't a cheap ride.
Push a button and the wings fold up, allowing the pilot to start driving it like a car. It even runs on petrol, with a range of 600 miles (1,000km) on the ground or 400 miles in the air. Around 100 aircraft have been reserved, and the first is due to be delivered later this year. Technically, the Transition has been made possible by the availability of modern engines, composite materials and computerised avionics systems. But it has also taken advantage of the "Lite-Sport" aircraft category introduced by America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2004.
This category was partly intended to plug gaps created by unregulated small aircraft, but there was another reason to introduce it, says Carl Dietrich, Terrafugia's co-founder and chief executive: to spur innovation and make it easier to get a pilot's licence. Part of the FAA's remit is to promote flight, yet getting a licence is difficult and time-consuming. Safety is paramount, of course, but in theory this could be made simpler for people who want to fly a simpler class of plane.
|"The simple act of walking past a police officer becomes a law enforcement interaction."|
|3D Printed Guitars|
|“Why don’t we exchange our fossil fuel dependence for an existence based only on renewables?”|
|“The autonomous ship does not mean removing human beings entirely from the picture."|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“Bulgaria is hemorrhaging citizens at a rate of 164 per day.”|
|How to Make a Cheesecake that Looks Like Cheese|
|What Nothing Really Means in Seinfeld|
|“It's not more expensive to build and it's hugely cheaper and more efficient to live in.”|
|iPhone 6, the First Smartphone to Disrupt NSA's Spying|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“How easy it is for anyone who tracks our digital activities to gain insight into our personalities.”|
|“Social media is the publisher, not just the postman.”|
|“A chain of endlessly recommended YouTube videos made by strangers motivated by advertising dollars.”|
|“The 'last mile' to the home accounts for 50 percent or more of total package delivery costs.”|