Flying car maker AeroMobil: flying cars to take off 2017

While some car companies are still scrambling to develop self-driving cars or at least integrate smartphones into the dashboard, some are already look far ahead into the future and into the skies. But for AeroMobil, who has been working on flying cars since 1989, it might not actually be too far into the future at all. It believes that by 2017, the first commercial flying car will be available to the highest bidder. But considering its business revolves around flying cards, it's not hard to see why AeroMobil would be so optimistic.

That's not to say the company is all talk and all dreams. Its latest prototype, AeroMobil 3.0 actually took off to the skies last October. Not only did it work, it was also a sight to behold. Although as large and as long as a limousine, the flying roadster is a two-seater only. Inside, the car's cockpit is almost literally a cockpit similar to that of a plane. Outside, the prototype is unmistakably futuristic. The car take off from a strip of grass 200 meters long only. It has semi-autopilot and has a parachute for the car in case things go awry.

But more than just the technical puzzles that need to be solved, AeroMobil knows that the bigger problems will be human ones, particularly bureaucracy. If autonomous cars are already sending law makers and authorities into a frenzy, how much more cars that can bypass regular ground and aerial security checks. Although AeroMobil's first fleet will likely require drivers to also hold a pilot's license, future models might require even more challenges to existing rules.

There is, however, another big hurdle to be overcome: the big price. AeroMobil admits that this kind of car will appeal more to the wealthy and to flying enthusiasts, or both, with a price range of around a hundred thousand dollars. There will also be mass market models in the future, though those will amusingly be fully autonomous, self-driving, and self-flying, which might be even more frightening for regular consumers and commuters.