Quantcast
Connect with us

Buzz grows on ‘flying cars’ ahead of major tech show

Published

on

Will flying cars take off at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show?

Well, sort of.

ADVERTISEMENT

The prototypes won’t be soaring over the Las Vegas Strip during the technology extravaganza which runs from January 8-11.

But a number of flying car designs will be on display, portending what many see as an inevitable airborne future for short-range transport with vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL.

NFT Inc. co-founders Maki and Guy Kaplinsky, a couple developing a flying vehicle in Israel and California, will have their vision on display at show, with a media session on Sunday.

“We believe we have a winning design that will enable us to make the Model T of flying cars — a low-cost production model,” Guy Kaplinsky told AFP in a Silicon Valley office park where a prototype model was being assembled.

ADVERTISEMENT

A doorway to the rear of the NFT office in Mountain View opened onto large blue tarps hung from the ceiling to hide the workshop.

A team of veteran aviation engineers is focused on research at the startup’s facility in Israel, and the founders plan to expand the staff of 15 people.

ADVERTISEMENT

The startup is designing hardware and software, while enlisting original equipment manufacturers to crank out products at scale.

“We learned from Tesla that Elon Musk spent too much time on the production side,” Guy Kaplinsky said.

“We are spending our time on the technology side and will partner with companies on assembly.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The NFT vehicle with a projected price tag of $50,000 will function as a car, but be able to take off or land vertically and fly on auto-pilot.

– Regular Joes ? –

AFP Photo / Glenn CHAPMANNFT co-founder Guy Kaplinsky poses with a model propeller before a curtain concealing work the startup is doing on a flying car in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View, with a presentation expected at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

Several companies, including Uber and start-ups backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, are working on people-carrying drones or similar flying vehicles.

ADVERTISEMENT

In Japan, volunteers in a “Cartivator” group are out to build a “Skydrive” flying car and have set their sights on using one to light the flame at the opening of the Olympic games in Tokyo in 2020.

The crowdfunded effort has gotten backing from Japanese auto giant Toyota, where some Cartivator members work.

A scaled-down replica of “Toyota’s flying car” is to be shown at CES.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Our team consists of people with diverse professional backgrounds and is working hard every weekend towards developing the flying car,” the group said at a cartivator.com website.

“We aim to build a prototype, establish theory of flight control, as well as form alliances with major corporations to make mass production of the flying car a reality.”

– Door-to-door solution –

ADVERTISEMENT

NFT is working to marry a plane with a car, meaning no airports or heliports would be needed.

“We believe door-to-door is the solution,” Kaplinsky said.

“Our approach is more for the mom and three kids; you load everyone in the car one time and get where you need to go.”

ADVERTISEMENT

A smartphone mapping application could be paired to a navigation center hosted in the internet cloud, routing drivers to takeoff points and providing instructions to auto-pilots in cars.

The electric powered NFT vehicle is targeting ranges of 310 miles flying (500 km) and 60 miles driving (100 km).

Kaplinsky said the startup seeing US Federal Aviation Administration approval as early as 2024.

ADVERTISEMENT

He expected to have a drive-fly vehicle ready to demonstrate late next year.

Kaplinsky felt it likely that, in the long run, flying cars would be part of ride-sharing fleets to make better use than those owned by individuals.

Gartner automotive analyst Mike Ramsey says autonomous flying vehicles are coming, but won’t disrupt the way people travel.

ADVERTISEMENT

Ramsey said cost, regulation, and battery life are just a few of the hurdles for flying vehicles.

AFP/File / Fabrice COFFRINIA number of designs for flying cars have been unveiled including the “Pop.up next” by Audi, italdesign and Airbus seen at the Geneva International Motor Show on March 6, 2018

“There still has to be a limit to the number of these things that can be in the air at once,” he said/

While one person with a flying car may be amazing, 500 people in a city darting about in flying cars could bode airborne mayhem.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s really cool, and it will have applications, but they are unlikely to be regular Joes like you and me jumping over all the traffic,” Ramsey said.

The analyst said flying vehicles could catch on as lower cost options to medical helicopters, military transport, or accessing rugged rural areas.

“I do think the technology will happen,” Ramsey said.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here’s why Trump’s rabid base will never see the light: They’ve turned to the ‘dark side’

Published

on

In a scorching piece for the Washington Post, columnist Colbert King made the case that there is no sense in wasting time trying to convince rabid supporters of Donald Trump that he is a racist or a white supremacist because that is part of his appeal to them.

Under a heading, "Don’t waste your breath trying to convince Trump supporters he’s repugnant," the longtime political observer cites the Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes song, " If You Don't Know Me By Now," as "instructive" as to why his base is unreachable.

Continue Reading

Facebook

‘Very good’ White House discussions on Afghan peace deal: Trump

Published

on

The White House signaled progress Friday in preparations for a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, saying that discussions between President Donald Trump and top advisors went "very well."

Trump met at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf course with national security advisors including Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, the White House said.

Also present were national security point man John Bolton and the US special envoy for the talks with the Taliban, Zalmay Khalilzad.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Anti-LGBT white supremacist to co-host new public affairs TV talk show that will Air on PBS

Published

on

Pat Buchanan, a longtime anti-LGBTQ white supremacist Christian nationalist pundit will co-host a re-boot of "The McLaughlin Group," a Sunday morning public affairs, news, and commentary TV talk show know for the fast and hot takes of its conservative creator, John McLaughlin. The show will be syndicated by Maryland Public Television and air on PBS stations, Media Matters reports.

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image