- Daily Zen
With a futuristic hotel concept based on Hyperloop One, AI that can read minds, it is only a matter of time until flying cars make it into the 21st century. Hands down, flying cars is how mankind is going to leapfrog into the 22nd century. The question is when, and how? Thank heavens, Volvo’s parent company Geely has acquired Terrafugia, a flying-car startup, in a bid to make the 21st century dream of flying cars an impending reality.
Terrafugia is an American flying car company, which promises to make the world’s first-ever practical flying car. While there are companies out there experimenting with flying cars, Terrafugia is the first one to make a truly impressive prototype. Founded in 2006, it showed off its first prototype called the ‘Transition’ in 2009. It was started by a group of MIT graduates, and rest assured there is a lot of brainpower behind the technology. Sad to say, the progress hasn’t exactly been strikingly phenomenal. Their proposed second car ‘TF-X’ is yet to be unveiled and now with the acquisition, it’s uncertain whether it will truly see the light of the day.
Let’s just say that with the backing of a mammoth like Geely, it would soon bring flying cars to market. Of course, the first flying cars won’t exactly be affordable. Terrafugia estimates the first flying car in the market would be priced between $300,000 and $400,000. You can buy a brand new, seven-speed transmission and 700-horsepower V-12 Lamborghini Aventador for the same money.
Terrafugia promises a 400-mile range from Transition, with a top speed of 100mph and altitude of 10,000 feet. Not much is known about the flying car’s performance on the road. The startup promises it will be capable of highway speeds.
Let’s hope Geely hasn’t bought Terrafugia with the aim to kill the end product. A lot of companies acquire startups, thereby obtaining their intellectual property and killing all operations. It is possible that Geely is far more interested in the materials and engineering processes involved rather than making a flying car.
Terrafugia’s Transition is one of the few flying cars to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. In fact, it is certified as a Light Sport Aircraft, which means that it is a road and air-legal vehicle. The outcome of the Terrafugia acquisition is unknown, but hands down, Geely has made a valuable purchase.
The deal is yet to be officially announced. It is only a matter of time until the news creates the much-needed pressure on its rivals.