A Slovakia-based startup has tossed its hat into the very nascent field of flying cars.
AeroMobil unveiled the final, commercial design for its flying car at the supercar show Top Marques Monaco on Thursday. But the vehicle won’t come cheap; AeroMobil says it will cost between €1.2 million and €1.5 million ($US1.3 million and $US1.6 million), with deliveries beginning in 2020.
But unlike Uber and Zee.Aero, AeroMobil is launching a true flying car that can both drive on the road and hit the skies. Most companies are pursuing VTOL (Vertical Take-Off Landing) aircrafts, which, like the name implies, allow the aircraft to take off vertically without needing a runway, but aren’t meant to be driven.
Scroll down for a closer look at AeroMobil’s flying car:
AeroMobil is accepting pre-orders for its flying car, but is only producing 500 units. AeroMobil CEO Juraj Vaculik told Business Insider that the ultimate goal is to launch a version of the vehicle as part of a shared mobility service in the future, but Vaculik said it's too early to get into specifics about that plan.
AeroMobil says the vehicle can transform into flight mode in less than 3 minutes. As a car, it has a top speed of 100 mph (160 kph) and can drive for 434 miles (700 km).
The vehicle can fly for 466 miles (750 km) and reach a top speed of 223 mph (360 kph) when in the air, the company claims.
Owners will need a pilot licence to operate the vehicle in Europe and access to a runway for when they want to fly.
The vehicle is certified to operate in Europe, but AeroMobil plans to eventually release it in the US, AeroMobil CTO Douglas MacAndrew told Business Insider. Once it's cleared to operate in the US, AeroMobil will look to introduce it in China as well.
Terrafugia, a startup born out of MIT, is accepting reservations for its Transition flying car. Owners can legally operate the vehicle if they have a Sports Pilot Licence, showing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already cleared a path for vehicles of this nature.
'The aircraft regulation for both the US and Europe are very very similar indeed,' MacAndrew said. 'Within months of being able to sell the vehicle in Europe we will also be able to sell it in the US market.'
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