A flying car start-up has created a vehicle that’s as easy to use as playing Minecraft, according to its CEO.
The Flyer is the new vehicle from flying car start-up Kitty Hawk. The start-up is backed by Google co-founder Larry Page and its CEO, Sebastian Thrun, previously headed up Google’s self-driving cars programme.
This week, a CNN reporter Rachel Crane, became the first reporter to try out the flyer.
After only 90 minutes of training, Crane was allowed to test the Flyer out at a facility in Las Vegas.
“The joystick is so intuitive, but it’s not the most comfortable thing I’ve ever sat in. You definitely feel the vibrations,” said Crane.
How does Kitty Hawk’s flying car work?
The Flyer is completely electric, powered by a lithium-polymer battery, so it is environmentally-friendly.
However, at the moment it can only be used for 20 minutes before it needs recharging, which limits how long you can fly the plane.
The has 10 motors and two control sticks, making it easy to master. So simple in fact, Thrun told CNN: “It’s as easy to use as playing Minecraft.”
As well, the vehicle only weighs 250 pounds, around 17 stone. It was critical for Kitty Hawk to keep the plane lightweight so it can be flown without a pilot’s license.
The start-up hopes that this will make it easier for everyone to be able to have a flying car.
Though the technology seems futuristic, there are more and more companies coming into the flying car scene.
Earlier this year, PAL-V International unveiled its flying car, the PAL-V Liberty at the Geneva Motor Show.
The vehicle is a twin-engine craft which looks like a hybrid between a car and a helicopter.
However, the barrier to entry is quite high with the PAL-V Liberty. The car costs between €299,000 and €499,000 and you need to have a pilot’s license to be able to fly it.
But, if you won’t be able to afford a flying car you may still be able to take rides in one.
The ride-hailing start-up Uber is opening a flying car lab in Paris, its first research and development centre outside of the US.
Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said: “We’re no longer just about cars, we’re about urban mobility. It includes cars, carpool, electric bike and flying cars we hope.”
The company is going to invest $23.5 million over the next five years into the new facility.
It looks like the future of flying cars is getting closer and closer.