Flying cars may not just be a figment of “Back to the Future.”
Peter Diamandis, a board member of Hyperloop One, told Business Insider that personal forms of flying transportation — whether that be flying cars or personal drones — will be a reality in select places in just five years.
“I think we’ll see a lot of demos happening in the next two or three years,” he said. “And I think we’ll see, within five years, we’ll start to see them in specific places. We’ll start to hear a lot about it in the fall.”
There is some credence to Diamandis’ vision. Larry Page, a co-founder of Google who is now CEO of its parent company, has secretly invested more than $100 million to develop flying cars. Page reportedly owns flying car start-up Zee.Aero while reportedly funding another start-up called Kitty Hawk.
Terrafugia is another flying car start-up attempting to have the technology ready by 2025.
Diamandis said that flying transportation systems will fundamentally change how we commute. People could live farther away from the city they work in and opt to take a personal drone to a select landing location. A driverless car could then pick them up and drive them to their final location.
“Imagine if there’s a dozen ports or buildings,” he said. “You’ll fly from New Jersey to a rooftop on 5th [avenue] and there will be an autonomous car waiting to take you to your final location. It’s new routing capability for humans.”
Carl Dietrich, co-founder of Terrafugia, previously told Tech Insider that he could see landing areas for flying cars being built on private land or local shopping plazas. He said they would need to be about the size of a tennis court.
What will truly determine whether flying cars become a reality is the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). That future will become clearer when the FAA finalises it Reform and Reauthorization Act, a set of safety regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles, Dietrich said at the time.
“We’re going to have thousands and millions of flying drones in corridors, and then we’ll also see people carrying,” Diamandis said. “You know, I think it’s an inevitability.”