Airbus CEO: Flying Car Prototype Will Be In The Air By The End Of The Year

Ever since TV viewers first met George Jetson (his boy Elroy; daughter Judy; Jane, his wife) we’ve been fantasizing about zooming around in our very own personal flying cars. While many companies have made strides in that general direction, we have yet to see a true Jetsonian vehicle. Now, Airbus’ CEO thinks he can bring us even closer to our dreams: he expects the company to complete a self-piloted flying car prototype by the end of the year.

Airbus Group is planning to test a flying car as a way to escape traffic jams on the ground, company CEO Tom Enders told the audience at the DLD digital technology conference in Munich, Reuters reports.

The company created a division called Urban Air Mobility to develop ideas like a vehicle that transports individuals, or a helicopter type vehicle that could ferry multiple passengers around. The whole thing sounds a lot like Uber’s plan for on-demand flying taxis.

“One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground,” Enders told the audience, adding that he hopes his company will let a demo vehicle designed for single-person transport loose on the skies before 2017 is through.

“We are in an experimentation phase, we take this development very seriously,” he said. Any technology Airbus developed would have to be clean, he pointed out, as the whole idea of flying vehicles is to help clean up congested cities.

Flying cars could cut down on costs for city infrastructure planners as well, since there’s no need to spend billion on concrete bridges and roads — Where we’re going, we won’t need roads.

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