Two months ago, we reported on the Terrafugia TF-X flying car. It was going to be the first mass-produced hover car in history.
Well, guess what?
Toyota is jumping in on the idea, as well. Earlier this week at the Bloomberg’s Next Big Thing Summit in San Francisco, Toyota managing officer Hiroyoshi Yoshika gave an interview saying that Toyota is planning on entering the hover car race.
According to Yoshika, the company has been studying the engineering process behind flying cars at one of its “most advanced” research and development areas. Unlike the Terrafugia, though, the Toyota version of the flying car wouldn’t elevate too high in the air. Instead, Yoshika said it would elevate just “a little bit away” from the road in an attempt to reduce friction.
In essence, it would be a true hovercraft, not a flying car.
Yoshika, however, declined to comment on whether or not Toyota was planning an official release date for the vehicle.
In fact, many companies have considered entering the hover car race because the needed technology is now available.
In an interview with The Independent, Tesla founder Elon Musk said, “We could definitely make a flying car, but that’s not the hard part. The hard part is how do you make a flying car that’s super safe and quiet? Because if it’s a howler, you’re going to make people very unhappy.”
Another obvious problem facing many companies is price. Currently, the debut Terrafugia vehicle- The Transition- is scheduled to be sold in 2016 for a pricy $279,000. Obviously, not too many people will be able to afford this, keeping many companies hesitant about the investment.
All of these hiccups may have slowed down potential developers. But now, with Toyota entering the race, it will be interesting to see who follows suit.