Zipping across the dusty desert of South Australia, two hovering vehicles recently battled it out in the first-ever timed electric flying car drag-race.
At an experimental display that took place north of Adelaide, two eVTOL racers went head-to-head in a 400-meter (1,312-foot) drag race, flying at speeds of up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour just 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground.
The two eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) racers were developed by Alauda Aeronautics and consist of crewless four-rotor flying vehicles that are powered by electricity. For the time being, the vehicles are remotely operated, using a system of LiDAR and RADAR technology as a helping hand to safely navigate. Now with this demonstration under their belt, the organizers of the event, Airspeeder, hope to push forward towards the world’s first crewed electric flying car races using human pilots in the cockpit.
Airspeeder has high hopes that flying car races could become a major motorsport in the near future, envisioning this time as the "dawn of the electric flying car racing era."
On top of not requiring the physical infrastructure needed by conventional motorsport, their flying vehicles also hold the advantage of running on clean, green energy. By 2022, they aim to launch a crewed Airspeeder Racing series that is set to take place in soon-to-be-unveiled locations. They also hope to seriously boost the speeds traveled by these vehicles, upping their top racing speeds to 300 kilometers (186 miles) per hour.
“We are on the cusp of making motorsport and mobility history with the world’s first electric flying car races. This test race provides the world a glimpse at the next generation of motorsport and mobility. This first test drag-race is a major moment in the creation of our sport and a giant leap forward for the development of electric flying cars,” Matt Pearson, Founder & CEO of Airspeeder & Alauda Aeronautics, said in an emailed statement