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Porsche joins race to produce flying car

Relaxnews (AFP) logoRelaxnews (AFP) 13/3/2018

Although there aren't as many manufacturers currently working on flying cars as there are working on driverless cars, the number looking into getting us off the ground is growing as now even Porsche has entered the fray.

Flying cars were brought to the fore recently at the Geneva Motor Show, where a model called the Pop.Up Next was on display; this model is being developed by a collaboration of Italdesign, Airbus and Audi.

However, Porsche has now joined the likes of Daimler, Italdesign and Volvo's Chinese owner Geely as one of the companies who think flying cars could be the best way of escaping our increasingly congested roads in the future. According to Porsche, cities the world over are struggling to keep up with rapidly increasing population growth and the inevitable overcrowding of the roads and infrastructure that creates. This already means reaching an airport through metropolitan areas can take hours, and the problem is only likely to get worse over time.

At a press event held at Porsche's Stuttgart offices, sales chief Detlev von Platen said: "There's another dimension out there that is completely empty without any traffic jams. So why shouldn't we develop something in this direction?" He went on to add: "Think about Mexico or Brazil – there are cities that are overflowing and if you want to travel 20 km it can take 4 hours, in the air it only takes a few minutes."

Porsche believes what it is referring to as "three-dimensional mobility" -- where drones can bypass congested roads on the ground by flying -- would better differentiate itself from competitors. Von Platen suggested: "Just like you drive a Porsche, you would fly the drone, without needing a pilot or your own license."

Obviously, development is at a very embryonic stage, and the company admits it could take a decade or more until the technology could launch in the real world. Of course, the technology to achieve the vision is one thing; getting approval for people to operate such vehicles without extensive training and expensive licenses from governments and local authorities is another matter entirely.

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