Get, set, drive and fly: cars may fly in 2017

Published on : Tuesday, May 19, 2015

drive and flyIn 2017, flying car companies aim for takeoff. Terrafugia, AeroMobil, Moller International and PAL-V are some companies that are planning to produce, sell and deliver their vehicles within the next few years, 2017 will be a turning point for the industry.

Terrafugia, an American firm founded by MIT grads, expects to start production of its “Transition” flying car in 2017. And it’s accepted deposits from nearly 100 customers already. Slovakian firm AeroMobil also plans to finalize its flying car design and begin accepting deposits in 2017. PAL-V from the Netherlands has already begun taking orders for its vehicle, and expects deliveries to begin in the spring of 2017. And California-based Moller International has started accepting deposits and says it could begin selling its flying vehicles next year, provided the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grants the necessary regulatory permissions.

All these firms have high expectations for the future, however different major roadblocks could keep them from reaching their near term goals.

Regulators are the main reason flying cars are kept off the roads and out of the skies.The vehicles have to pass several tests to prove they’re road ready and fit to fly. Getting all the necessary aviation, road and transportation certifications can take long time. While these regulations may seem like a barrier to the casual observer, they are designed to keep everyone safe in the air and on the ground.

Aside from regulatory and safety concerns, a lack of funding can also seriously hamper progress, or stop it altogether. And another major and obvious challenge is finding customers. But flying car entrepreneurs seem unfazed; with some saying they’ll target the military and law enforcement agencies, while others are aiming for rich individuals and business owners.

AeroMobil wants to tap the luxury market, targeting rich people who can afford to buy supercars and yachts.

But anyone who is looking to buy a flying car has to realize that it won’t be like The Jetsons show, where drivers zip around whenever they like. Many of these flying planes will need runways for takeoff.

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