Tech

Totally Fly: VW’s Concept Flying Car

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By Jody McCutcheon

The line between reality and science fiction blurs more every day. Volkswagen’s concept†¨flying car is one of those blurring forces.

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In 2011, “the people’s car company” launched “The People’s Car Project” to crowd-source its vision of tomorrow’s transport. One such vision embraces that longstanding  symbol of technological progress and human ascendance, the flying car.

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VW’s concept is  based on the design of one Wang Jia, of Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. She envisioned a tall,  narrow, easy-to-park two-seater shaped like a giant tire, hovering several inches off the ground, and controlled via centre-console joystick. And it’s emission-free!

Volkswagen  brought the idea to life last year, at least for the duration of a short video.

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The clever idea underpinning this concept flying car is similar to the magnetic  Ã¢â‚¬ ¨levitation system enabling Shanghai’s Maglev train. With the reduced friction of Maglev†¨transportation, the flying car maneuvers with ease, forward and backward;†¨side to side, and can even perform tight spins on its axis, for hairpin turns and easy†¨maneuverability in cramped urban settings. Distance sensors measure proximity to†¨external objects (i.e. other vehicles), and if something gets too close, the flying car will†¨automatically and rather suddenly cut speed–so seatbelts are a must.  And did someone say autopilot? Someone certainly did. Recline and relax.

Unfortunately, you’d need an entire electromagnetic infrastructure of roads and tracks to get around in this beauty, and even a rudimentary grid would require extensive financing. Plus, the grid-†¨dependent flying car would be totally restricted to areas within the infrastructure, which of†¨course means no off-roading.

Volkswagen-Hover-Car-rear-view

VW’s concept flying car might not be imminent, or even viable. But it we say it represents a good†¨R&D investment toward unlocking the potential of mass Maglev travel.

 

Jody McCutcheon

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    Mar 1, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Great idea, but what about safety issues? How would these not be knocking pedestrians over left and right, or even causing damage to buildings and trees?

  • Reply
    Roger Roy
    Dec 2, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Like price for it love that

  • Reply
    Futuristic Tech that is here already -
    Mar 31, 2019 at 11:34 am

    […] with flying vehicles (just yet). But plenty of companies have announced plans for prototypes. Volkswagen has shown off a concept video for their over hover car, based on several proven […]

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