While recent developments in engineering have contributed greatly to bringing flying cars closer to reality, there are other technical hurdles to overcome, and more still in order to develop flying vehicles that are autonomous.
In addition to sorting out the technology, there is also a need for ground infrastructure that would allow flying vehicles to operate unobstructed, with enough space for take-off and landing zones.
According to MIT professor John Hansman, the big challenge is whether people can build a vehicle that would be allowed to operate in the places where people want to use it.
It seems possible, though. In fact, Uber already has infrastructure plans for a flying taxi service that relies on vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles. But they are not the only company thinking about the new era in travel. European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is keen on delivering a prototype of its A3 Vahana this year, with plans to have it ready for production by 2020.
Israeli tech firm Urban Aeronautics has already created prototypes of its Cormorant, a people-carrying drone that’s intended for military use and that can attain speeds of up to 185 kph, hover for an hour, and carry up to 1,100 pounds.