AI and electrification will change the way we drive. You’ve been hearing that more and more lately. That’s still about DRIVING a car. And while the world has been dreaming of flying cars with which you can avoid traffic and other obstacles for more than 70 years. Drones that (will) function as taxis already come close to that reality and in recent decades there have been several Willy Wortels who made a flying car, but these were actually small aircraft that could also drive with minor adjustments, such as the Convair Model 118 from… 1947(!).
The Land Aircraft Carrier
Anyway, Xpeng AeroHT, a sister company of Xpeng – the relatively new Chinese car brand – presented its first modular flying car this week. It is called, very appropriately, the Land Aicraft Carrier (LAC). It is a kind of bus with six wheels and a passenger drone in the trunk. If you want to fly, you unpack the drone, leave the bus behind and hop… fly.
The LAC’s car part seats four to five passengers and has an electric powertrain. The six wheels, on three axles, can all be driven simultaneously, but it is also possible to drive only the front or rear wheels.
The eVTOL has a built-in drone
At the same time, the company also unveiled its latest eVTOL, an autonomously flying drone for passenger transport that will now also be made in a ‘driving’ configuration. In fact, it is a futuristically designed electric car with the drone part in the ‘trunk’. Once unfolded, you can fly it, including vertical take-off and landing.
Live demo at CES
During the CES in Las Vegas, Xpeng AeroHT will give demonstrations with the eVTOL. “We started AeroHT in 2013 dreaming of flying cars. Fast forward to 2024, and that dream has become a reality. Today we are proud to unveil our two latest innovations that will take people from driving on roads to soaring through the air “The future is now, and the whole world is ready to fly!” said Tan Wang, co-founder and vice president of Xpeng AeroHT.