The dream of ‘The Flying Car’ has been around for years. But thanks to the Dubai Government, 2017 is the year that the Automated Ariel Vehicle (AVV) - otherwise known as a flying car - is primed to become a reality.
Manufactured by a Chinese company EHANG, the specifics of the flying car are finally being released. Measuring 3.9 m in length, 4.02 m in width, and 1.6 m in height, it is a one-seater, drone-esque looking machine. Although auto-piloted with a touch screen where the rider can enter their destination, the flying car will be monitored by a command centre which will overlook the entire procedure. With 30 minutes of flying time, a maximum cruising speed of 160kph, the car can fly at a maximum of 3000 feet leaving the congested roads and traffic behind.
There are various other companies working on the flying car concept. AeroMobil, Moller International, Terrafugia, Zee.Aero PAL-V One and Urban Aeronautics are in the running to make Flying Cars a reality one day. Volkswagen and Toyota, as leading automobile authorities have also been attempting to move forward with the idea, as well as NASA and US military organisations who are aiming to have a civilian product and one that can be used in rescue missions.
The challenges of releasing such a machine have, thus far, not been resolved by other companies pursuing the idea, which is why it will be interesting to see how Dubai has overcome the many logistical issues that the realities of operating the first AAV will present. Challenges such as time and expense of training for a pilot’s licence; take-off and landing problems; bad weather complications; and the cost of maintaining such a car without even thinking about the cost of buying one which is estimated to be about £180,000.
That being said, it is going to happen. Consequently, the excitement mounts as the launch gets closer. The world will be watching and there is no doubt that many other countries will follow suit.