6 flying cars that you might actually be able to own (and fly) in your lifetime

Today, commuting to work in a personal helicopter or private jet is something that’s only really available to billionaire CEOs, hedge fund managers, and “one hit wonder” rappers who are six months away from bankruptcy.

That’s all going to change in the near future, however. Just like the way that cellphones used to be exclusively for the 1 percent, soon the idea of taking a personal flying machine to work is going to be a part of everyday life.

Don’t believe us? Check out some of the companies who are building personal drones, flying “cars,” and even an Iron Man-style jetsuit that will soon be available to the masses. That means you and I!

Opener BlackFly

Californian startup Opener’s entrant into the flying car market is BlackFly, which the company hails as, “the world’s first ultralight all-electric fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.” It’s a single-seat aircraft/vehicle capable of travelling up to 25 miles on a charge, with a top speed of 62 miles per hour.

You won’t need a pilot’s license to fly it, although you will have to complete vehicle training and an FAA Private Pilot written exam.

As with a lot of the other vehicles on this list, no official price has been announced yet, although Opener has stressed the importance of “competitive pricing.” In interviews, designer Marcus Leng has said that Opener should cost no more than an SUV. Provided he’s talking about an average midsize SUV, that would suggest we’ll be able to take to the skies for around $33,000.

Passenger Drone

Sometimes you don’t need to give your product a flashy millennial marketing team name — unnecessarily frivolous and featuring lower case letters where upper case ones should be — to sell your product. That’s the case with the simply named Passenger Drone: an upcoming self-driving, 16-rotor, human-sized drone.

The machine will be controlled by a touchscreen, and promises to take off with just one button. Users can then draw their route on a map, and have the drone fly them there, using a range of smart autonomous technologies to do so without accidentally running into anything on the way.

The company has yet to reveal how much this will all cost. While we’re expecting it to be pretty pricey, the theoretical ease-of-use of such a device could certainly help make this a mainstream entity, provided it’s within reach of your average consumer. And that it works, obviously.

Aston Martin’s Volante Vision

We’re including this one despite the fact that, yes, we realize that most people don’t currently drive an Aston Martin to work. The idea that somehow one of the world’s most luxurious car brands will become cheaper when it adds a new flying feature to the mix is pretty darn unlikely. But the dream of arriving at the office in a flying version of James Bond’s car is too intoxicating to ignore.

Aston Martin’s Volante Vision flying car is a hybrid-electric aircraft with vertical take-off and landing capabilities. Although no official release date has been announced, it promises to offer sufficient space for three adults in a triangular configuration.

Given that the company is sticking to its luxury market ethos, this one’s probably more of a weekend hire if we’re honest. But what a birthday gift that hire will be!

Uber flying taxis

Who said that you need to actually own a flying vehicle in order to enjoy all the good things it can deliver? That’s what Uber has figured out, and is working toward with its flying taxi program.

Uber’s concept, as depicted in a promotional video, shows how we might summon UberAir flights using a smartphone app. So far, so identical to catching a regular Uber. After you’ve booked your flight, however, you’ll then have to get to a dedicated “Uber Skyport,” gain access to your vehicle with the QR code from your digital boarding code, and then take off.

The tagline at the end of the video reads, “closer than you think.” To this we can hopefully add, “cheaper than you fear.”

Lilium Aviation

German aviation startup Lilium Aviation has attracted the support of high-profile investors like China’s giant holding company Tencent to bring its flying car dreams to life.

In 2017, Lilium carried out a demo of its two-seater VTOL vehicle at a private airfield in Bavaria. The vehicle was remotely remotely by a pilot on the ground. Lilium is also working on a five-person vehicle, which should be able to fly for up to 60 minutes on a single charge.

The company hasn’t announced pricing information but, like Uber, it is very interested in the concept of flying car taxis. CEO Remo Gerber has said that taking a ride should be no more expensive than taking a road-based taxi or buying a train ticket. That sounds promising.

Gravity Industries’ flying exosuit

Most of the flying machines on this list fall into the same category of vertical take-off and landing vehicle. Not this one. Created by British inventor Richard Browning, it’s a flying jetsuit, capable of transforming you into something approximating Marvel Comics’ Iron Man.

Gravity Industries’ flying exosuit boasts five jet engines and a head-up display which shows your remaining fuel levels.

Despite the fact that you’ll never have used anything like this in your life, Browning previously told Digital Trends that training takes just a few minutes. “We’ve had a pilot with five minutes’ training who managed to hover untethered very happily,” he said. “A lot does depend on fitness level and aptitude, but you don’t have to be a superhero or superhuman to fly it.”

The exosuit is currently available for sale, although the price may make you wince. Right now, a limited number are available for $446,000, but Browning has told us that, “Inevitably, the cost will come down.” A much cheaper electric version is also in the works.

Product Review

Aston’s stunning DB11 V8 Volante proves exotic cars aren't just about lap times

With the DB11 Volante, Aston Martin’s marriage of luxury and performance is perhaps at its best, offering hustle that doesn’t feel rushed and refinement with emotion still intact.
Emerging Tech

Just like an eagle, this autonomous glider can fly on thermal currents

Using a type of artificial intelligence which learns based on trial and error, researchers have demonstrated how gliders can glide autonomously on thermal currents, much like an eagle does.

Flying could feel more like going to the movies with VR headsets and headphones

How do you make in-flight entertainment feel like not flying at all? Put a screen on your face and noise-canceling headphones in your ears. Alaska Airlines is now testing virtual reality headsets for in-flight entertainment.
Emerging Tech

These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

The future is closer than you'd think: Companies around the world are working on flying car models, with many successful tests! Here are all the flying cars and taxis currently in development, and how they work!
Emerging Tech

Removing ‘zombie cells’ in the brain could help battle the effects of dementia

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have demonstrated how the removal of so-called "zombie cells" can help reverse the effects of dementia-style cognitive decline in mice. Here's what they did.
Emerging Tech

NASA’s planet hunter satellite gets first hit in its search for another Earth

NASA's planet hunter satellite TESS has discovered a new Earth-like planet. At only 62 light-years distant, the new find is much closer than the Kepler Mission's 2015 exoplanet discovery -- that one was 155 light-years distant.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Click-to-brew beer, comfy headlamps, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

From flying for fun to pro filmmaking, these are the best drones you can buy

In just the past few years, drones have transformed from a geeky hobbyist affair to a full-on cultural phenomenon. Here's a no-nonsense rundown of the best drones you can buy right now, no matter what kind of flying you plan to do.
Emerging Tech

New mask-mounted head-up display gives Navy combat divers tactical advantage

Divers are often forced to work in low-light conditions where visibility is limited or all-but nonexistent. In order to help solve this problem, the Navy has developed a new head-up display known as Shadow Nav.
Emerging Tech

Roll over, SpotMini — here comes the ALMA robo-dog

If two robo-dogs met on the street, would one try to sniff the mechanical components at the rear of the other? We have no idea, but with at least two different rob-dogs now making real advances, we may soon find out.
Emerging Tech

A Japanese spacecraft just landed two rovers on an asteroid

Japan's space agency has succeeded in landing two rovers on the surface of an asteroid around 200 million miles from Earth. The deployment is part of a bold mission aimed at unlocking some of the mysteries of our solar system.
Emerging Tech

3D-printed gun advocate extradited to Texas to face sex-assault charges

Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, has been arrested in Tawan. U.S. law enforcement have reported that they are working with Taiwanese authorities to have Wilson returned to the U.S. where he faces charges of sexual assault.
Emerging Tech

Eye-tracking tech lets you control a drone by looking where you want it to move

Put down your smartphones and other drone controllers. Researchers have invented a method to allow drone pilots to fly drones using a pair of eye-tracking glasses. What could be simpler?
Emerging Tech

This mirror-wielding robot arm behaves in a freakily lifelike manner

Created by German-based artist Piet Schmidt, this robot arm project will come close to tricking you into thinking it's a real creature, based on its behavior. Check it out in action.