A company already wants to top Uber with self-piloting flying cars

AeroMobil wants to top Uber with a flying, driverless airplane car
(Image credit: AeroMobil/YouTube)

Before you laugh off AeroMobil, remember that South by Southwest Interactive has debuted some other unlikely success stories, like Twitter and Foursquare. On Sunday, Juraj Vaculik made his pitch in Austin for his company, AeroMobil, to join that list, or probably top it. AeroMobil is making a flying luxury car, and Vaculik said he planned to get those up in the air by 2017, to help drivers escape the hassles of traffic, airports, and crumbling infrastructure.

But that's just the first step: After the piloted version hits the roads and air, AeroMobil plans to release a self-piloting auto-plane. "Because it's SXSW, Vaculik said he was looking forward to 'Flying Uber or flying Lyft," says a skeptical Dieter Bohn at The Verge. "And because it's SXSW, it was fitting that we heard that Dean Kamen, the creator of the Segway scooter, is joining the board of advisors for AeroMobil."

But as pie-in-the-sky and "Jeston-y" as that all seems, Vaculik is serious, says Mashable's Pete Pachal. "[Self-driving] technology is coming to the car, but as an autopilot, it's already there," Vaculik tells Mashable. "There are already systems for taking off and landing automatically. These two technologies can work together." The auto-piloted flying Uber car, as envisioned now, will have a hybrid engine, 900-mile range, four seats, and a parachute for each passenger. You can watch AeroMobil's flying car prototype in the field below. —Peter Weber

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.