In case you didn't believe that the future is right at your doorstep, look no further than the ridiculous innovation that is occurring with flying cars. With the drone market exploding, manufacturers have upscaled the power of quadcopters and created full-blown flying vehicles, both piloted and remotely operated. One such vehicle is the Alauda Airspeeder Mk3 EXA, and it is every bit as awesome as it sounds.
Now, Alauda Aeronautics, under the supervision of Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority, has tested their flying car on a racetrack successfully, and believes they will be holding races by the year’s end.
Check out the footage of the EXA series blasting round a track. Video Credit: Airspeeder/Youtube
The Alauda Airspeeder Mk3 EXA took part in the first-ever full test flight and was announced by Alauda last week. It joins the EXA series of Airspeeders, which are racing electric flying vehicles specifically designed to blast around a track to – what they hope will be – a global audience. Piloting the craft from a remote cockpit is a team of professional race crew, some of which draw their backgrounds in eSports, according to Alauda.
They now hope that their dream of holding large-scale electric flying car races will become a reality, with a season of three racing events planned throughout 2021. Alauda is so serious about the new spectator sport that the races will include Formula 1-style pitstops, in-house engineers to service the vehicles, and eventually the inclusion of human pilots insight the vehicles themselves.
“We are proud to make history by introducing the world’s first racing series for flying electric cars,” stated Alauda founder Matt Pearson in a statement.
The Airspeeder series is the closest working vehicle we have to an actual piloted flying car. Powered by four powerful rotors, the Airspeeder is technically an eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle that is capable of launching straight upwards and subsequently climbing to a maximum altitude of 500 meters (1,640 feet). It certainly gives boring, stone-age cars a run for their money in speed, being able to accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour (99.8 kilometers per hour) in just 2.8 seconds – that's just a fraction behind F1 cars. Powering this level of thrust comes with a drawback, and that is just a 10–15-minute battery life before it must return to land and get a replacement. Despite the company planning pitstops to extend the races, expect the events to be short and high-octane compared to some of the longer races out there.
Of course, traveling above varied terrain at high speeds is a recipe for some fiery wrecks, so the vehicles won’t be piloted until the full safety limits of the Airspeeders have been tested. In the meantime, each vehicle is equipped with a supposed system of LiDAR and RADAR that creates a "virtual forcefield" around each one, stopping contact with other racers.
So, with multi-team, space-age pod racing on the horizon, will you be tuning in?