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Flying Cars Are on Their Way

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“They promised us flying cars and all we got was 140 characters.”

That’s the famous quote attributed to Peter Thiele bemoaning the lack of technological innovation in this century. Well, Peter, don’t look now, but them flying cars, they’re on their way. We’re calling them aeromobiles and believe it or not, several firms are seriously in the race to get them mainstreamed.

Now, of course no one thinks it’s actually a car that lifts off from the road, so calling it a car is a misnomer. These are VTOLs or vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. They’re more like helicopters. So, you’re thinking, I’ll need to get a pilot’s license? Well, not exactly. Perhaps you’ll need to get comfortable with autonomy. In the air. You thought you were nervous about self-driving cars didn’t you? Compare that to “self-driving aeromobiles”!

Related: How Did We Get Along Without Our Devices?

Related: What Innovators See That Others Can’t

The mostly likely initial foray into our lives? Autonomous taxis carrying up to six passengers. No controls and no pilot. When will this vaunted technology arrive? Place your bets now but Boeing will test a piloted air taxi next year and Uber will follow suit in 2020, both with their aspirations planted firmly on autonomous flight. Many say the real restriction is regulatory, not technology. It’s a whole new world out there. Just look up!

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