Airbus CEO Tom Enders recently said that a prototype flying car built by Airbus should be ready by the end of the year. A prototype only means it would be a test vehicle of sorts, but that’s enough to get excitement running through my veins. Will we soon have flying autonomous vehicles? Will I live in an episode of The Jetsons?
“One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground,” Enders told Reuters in a recent interview, referring to previous generations’ decisions to take vehicles, such as trains and subways, and run them under cities. “With flying, you don’t need to pour billions into concrete bridges and roads,” Enders added, noting that Airbus is in the “experimentation stage” but that it takes its tests “very seriously.”
What about legislation?
We’ve seen “flying cars” before, though they ultimately end up being miniature planes that still need to take off and land at airports. That’ll be something Airbus will need to overcome if it wants to stand out. How will people buy and use its flying cars? Will we be allowed to take off vertically from our driveways? What sorts of regulations will be required? While Airbus may indeed have a working prototype, sometimes the legislation behind the new technologies seems to take longer than the innovative process.