From Blade Runner to Minority Report through Star Wars and the Jetsons – it depends on your age and whether you have any taste – flying cars have been a twinkle in many a script-writer’s eye for as long as anyone cares to remember.
Yet here we are, waiting for the train, bus, or for Chet or Dan to pick us up in the Uber in his firmly-grounded Nissan. Various companies have been toying with the idea for years, with varying amounts of credibility. Uber, for example, is targeting a flying car release for 2023 and Airbus has built one vehicle that’s undergone a successful test flight.
But finally there’s a flying car project associated with a couple of names you want to believe in. Porsche and Boeing have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to “explore the premium urban air mobility market and the extension of urban traffic into airspace.”
This seems like a lot of unnecessary words to explain that they’re thinking about putting cars in the sky. For the avoidance of doubt, they add that they will be looking at “a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle”.
That’s a flying car. A Porsche flying car, no less.
Under the partnership, the brands will combine their strengths and insights to study the possibility of creating these vehicles in the future. So it’s a long way from production and importantly, there is no way to tell right now if there is even a market for it.
It is precisely that market issue that Boeing and Porsche are working towards with a team to be created to address aspects of this urban air mobility and analyse the market potential for it. Currently, Porsche estimates that the market will pick up speed by 2025, by which time flying vehicles will transport people around cities more quickly and efficiently.
So all the billions being spent on bridge and tunnel programs around the world might soon prove to be questionable investments.
This announcement did not include any indication as to cost or what other resources the brands would throw at the venture. There is not even a set date for a prototype or a price range.
But a Porsche flying car? Sign us up.