Could pilotless flying cars take on Uber?

The future is well and truly here.

Juraj Vaculik, CEO of AeroMobil, revealed version 3.0 of the flying car last October, and the plan is to officially launch the vehicle in 2017. Not only that, Vaculik says that this “Ferrari with wings” could be tackling transportation companies like Uber.

“The sharing economy is excellent for us,” Vaculik told the folks at Mashable. “People will have this opportunity to call a ‘flying Uber,’ which will not just deliver you to the airport, but to your final destination.”

It is certainly an ambitious concept, one that AeroMobil is determined to put on the fast track to fruition. The plan is for 2017 to see a two-seater – with a parachute, of course – launched as the company’s first commercial product. A four-seater is to be released some time afterwards.

Mr Vaculik said the flying vehicle will be able to take off and land on long grass strips, with runways and landing strips beside highways allowing for the vehicle to land, retract its wings, and simply join the traffic. Easy.

Those worried about the safety of being flown around by a pilotless vehicle needn’t fret; a parachute-deployment system will be enabled if the autopilot stops working during its 900-mile (maximum) journey.

Not everyone will be able to simply pick one up and fly away. Mr Vaculik told the crowd at SXSW that the vehicle will most likely be categorized as both plane and car, meaning users will probably have to be a licensed pilot if they intend to operate the flying car.

Of course, there are a number of issues, such as vehicle regulations and potential flight path limits, on the table for such an undertaking, but let’s not detract from the magic at this time. This ambitious project is gathering momentum, highlighting the very real possibility of a future imagined only in yesterday’s sci-fi flicks.

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