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Commercial flying cars ‘a possibility by 2035’

The arrival of Airbus, Google, and Uber into the flying cars market is expected to infuse the much needed momentum to make limited commercial applications of flying cars a possibility by 2035, said an industry expert.

“The flying cars industry is at a nascent stage where a number of companies are developing different models of flying cars, many of which are in the testing phase and expected to be launched by 2025,” added mobility industry analyst Joe Praveen Vijayakumar at Frost & Sullivan, a growth partnership company.

He was commenting on the new Frost & Sullivan analysis “Future of Flying Cars, 2017-2035”, which provides comprehensive insight into the future of flying cars, analyzing their evolution, types, future applications, technology challenges, and supporting technologies. In addition the study offers potential business models, market-related rules and regulations by country, competitive landscape, and profiles of key participants.

The flying car market is poised to disrupt the mobility space with at least 10 companies expected to launch flying car vehicles in the next five years. Despite promising applications in recreation, military, air ambulance, police patrol, and air taxi services, the market faces severe challenges to mass commercialization, including take-off and landing in urban areas, human error, safety, fuel efficiency, range, noise, security, and air traffic control.

Flying car manufacturers should invest in research and development of vital technologies such as vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), or pursue partnerships with technology, automotive, and aerospace specialists to bolster their capabilities in a highly competitive ecosystem.

As flying car companies innovate their business models, an array of new business services are expected, such as aerial sightseeing, air surveillance-as-a-service, aerial critical aid delivery, air taxi pay-per-ride, and flying car corporate lease.

Various flying car market participants have adopted different strategies for growth and expansion:

•    Ehang is developing a flying drone with VTOL and autonomous flying capabilities
•    Toyota has acquired a patent for “Aerocar,” a shape-shifting flying car and also invested in Cartivator, a Japanese flying car start-up
•    Airbus, , Carplane, and Lillium are expected to release flying cars in the next five years;
•    Pre-selling of PAL-V’s Liberty Pioneer flying car has begun, with delivery expected by 2018;
•    Airbus self-flying aircraft Vahana is scheduled for production by 2021;
•    Kitty Hawk is  developing a flying car with investment from Google;
•    Flying car prototypes are being  developed by AeroMobil and Terrafugia; and
•    Airbus, in collaboration with Italdesign, is developing autonomous systems for its Pop.Up flying car.

“VTOL Capabilities, autonomous flying technologies and the development of fail-safe features, will be imperative to inspire confidence in potential customers and overall acceptance of flying cars as vehicles for urban mobility,” noted Vijayakumar. “Makers of flying cars must work with regulators to ensure that clearly defined and industry-friendly rules for flying car operations are passed.” – TradeArabia News Service    

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