Slovakian company Aeromobil has already proven that its flying car can slip the bounds of gravity with several functioning prototypes. At SXSW, CEO Juraj Vaculik laid out the business’ next milestones, which includes having a production version on sale in 2017.
Two years isn’t very long, and to really work as a flying car, the Aeromobil needs to pass all of the regulatory conditions not just in the air, but on the road too, including crash tests. According to Engadget, the company is still working on a mix of materials that keeps the vehicle light enough to get airborne but strong enough to be safe.
Despite its visually interesting design and power folding wings, the Aeromobil is still trapped by some of the inherent problems of a flying car. For example, you would need a pilot’s license to operate one in the air, and there’s the drive to a runway to consider. Also, planes don’t usually come cheap, especially not ones with carbon-fiber bodies. Prices in Europe are likely to be several hundred thousand euros, according to Engadget.
Vaculik isn’t letting these problems stop him from dreaming even further into the future, though. He imagines a network of grass runways near highways to pull off and take flight from.
Assuming the Aeromobil proves to be a success, the company someday wants to create a four-passenger model with a hybrid drivetrain that would double the current version’s 430-mile range. It would also be capable of fully autonomous flight with no pilot at the controls, which sounds like a seriously lofty goal.