For what feels like forever now, people have been watching science-fiction movies and dreaming of the day when flying cars become reality. But now that these vehicles are here, people might be wishing the future had stayed where it belongs.
Despite the world seemingly being nowhere near ready for flying cars, they appear to be here to stay. And, unfortunately, many of these vehicles and concepts could’ve used a little more time on the drawing board, as companies collectively are jumping the shark like there’s no tomorrow.
Hope, though, is not lost. Some flying cars not only are very real but also are bordering on being interesting.
Here are five of today’s more popular flying cars, either real or conceptual, ranked from pretty cool to completely ridiculous:
AeroMobil Flying Car
Slovakian company AeroMobil announced in April that it plans to deliver a flying car to customers by 2019. The company isn’t the only one to make such promises, but it might be the first to do so with a vehicle that actually could catch on. And, unlike the next vehicle on this list, AeroMobil’s car doesn’t look like a Fisher Price toy when in drive mode.
Now, the vehicle’s impressive technology and design likely mean its expected $1.2 million price isn’t decreasing anytime soon. Still, it’s the first fully realized flying car that actually looks as cool as it should be.
The Liberty, created by Dutch company PAL-V, is rumored to top out at 100 mph when in drive mode. If that’s true, what’s the point?
The vehicle gets points for actually working and currently being available for preorder, but the Liberty feels less like a flying car and more like a weak helicopter that can sort of drive a little bit.
Whereas the Liberty might look feeble and weak, the Terrafugia TF-X looks exactly the opposite — to its detriment. The vehicle looks like a futuristic hearse with collapsible wings, which is appropriate because it probably will need to transport its own passengers to their final resting places.
Kitty Hawk Flyer
For some reason, this thing commonly is referred to as a flying car, although it’s nothing of the sort. Still, it has to be on this list. And although Kitty Hawk, the Flyer’s developer, is backed by Alphabet CEO Larry Page, we’re not buying into the hype.
As Stephen Colbert articulated in a recent rant, the Flyer really is a vehicle which allows rich people to fly over fresh water differently than most people. Personally, we don’t see the Flyer as anything more than a beach-side rental option for money-raining vacationers.
Airbus’ Pop.Up concept makes about as much sense as Elon Musk’s futuristic vision for tunnel systems — perhaps even less. Essentially, Airbus envisions a world where you hail a self-driving car that drives you until traffic becomes too congested, at which point a drone lifts the pod from its wheelbase and carries it elsewhere.
Yes, car-carrying drones.
Not only is there no way modern cities could ever handle such infrastructural change (Boston comes to mind), but what on Earth does Airbus plan to do with all the wheel platforms it leaves behind?