Flying Cars to be Debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019

Bell Air Taxi under development for Uber. Photo: Bell Helicopter

Flying Cars to be Debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019

“Mark my words: a combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come,” Henry Ford reportedly predicted in 1940. At the beginning of the 20th century both aircraft and automobile were invented and since then we’ve dreamt of bringing both worlds together to create a flying car! With decades of experience and ever-improving technology that dream is becoming a reality.

The main goal with flying cars is to have a vehicle that gives you real door to-door access by road and air. Guy Kaplinksy, co-founder of NFT, a developmental firm working on a flying car, says, “We believe we have a winning design that will enable us to make the “Model T” of flying cars – a low-cost production model.”

This week we will see prototypes of flying cars at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019 (CES).
Many agree with Kaplinsky that we are closer than ever to seeing flying cars out on the road and in the air!

What will we see at CES 2019?
Cartivator: In Japan the Cartivator group, a volunteer organization, are looking to build a “Skydrive” flying car. They hope to present it during the Tokyo Olympic Opening Ceremonies in 2020 using it to fly over and light the flame. Perhaps their biggest news recently has been the backing of the Japanese auto giant Toyota. A scaled-down version of the “skydrive” will be
shown this year at CES.

Skydrive by Cartivator Group. Photo: Cartivator

UBER/GOOGLE: Flying taxis, like the Ehang 184, could be a closer reality than we think too. Several companies, including Uber and start-ups backed by Google, are working on people-carrying drones. We can expect to see some prototypes this week as well.

NFT: Here’s where things get a little interesting and a bit stressful when you consider all the regulation and planning that needs to go into our airborne future. The NFT vehicle, and other competing vehicles, will be able to take off and land vertically and fly on auto-pilot. With a projected price tag of $50,000 the NFT vehicle is not out of reach for the general public.

Obstacles for flying cars
While the future of flying transports is bright and opportunities abound, there are two major obstacles in the way: regulation and cost. While many flying car prototypes have already reached the sky their price points are only for the extremely rich. You’re looking at a price tag of $1.3 to $1.7 million for Aeromobil’s 5.0 VTOL.

Before these flying cars can be sold to the public there are a lot of regulations to consider and be put into place. For example, where will these vehicles actually be allowed to fly and at what altitudes? Will they require flight training to be operated or piloted by a drone operator. What happens in an airborne emergency? Does ATC take on the extra air traffic? There are hundreds of questions and concerns, and opportunities, to be reviewed and the conversation is happening this week at CES 2019 and around the world as we progress forward to a future in the air!
The Consumer Electronic Show 2019 is happening this week, January 8th-11th, in Las Vegas. If you happen to be able to make some last minute arrangements to be there, you’ll want to be sure to sign up for the transportation track of the show. You’ll hear from the experts on the future of transportation, and discuss the many hurdles that flying cars face and pose to our society.