All-Electric Flying Car Races Will Take Place as Early as 2020
Soon, all-electric flying car races won't just be reserved for video games, sci-fi movies, or dreams, so you best prepare yourself.
The organizers behind the world's first motorsport series for flying cars, Airspeeder, are saying you can expect these races to happen as early as the end of 2020.
The founder of the race, Matt Pearson, told Euronews that the team has "bold ambitions to accelerate a revolution in sustainable transport."
The flying electric cars, or Speeders, still need some further testing, which will have to happen after some of the coronavirus restrictions have been lifted. However, the team is finding safe ways of conducting some tests during these trying times to prepare themselves for their first race series at the end of 2020.
The company responsible for these creations, Alauda, was due to run manned testing of the Speeders in the Mojave Desert, in California this year. But, these have now been moved to near Adelaide, South Australia, closer to the company's home base.
So far, successful unmanned testing has already happened using a remote control, and it's been a success.
The Airspeeder vehicle weighs approximately 249.5 kg (550 pounds) and uses a battery pack that can be swapped during the race — much like a Formula E tire swap. Each pack is expected to last 15 minutes. The cars' motors can reach speeds of up to 201 kph (125 mph) thanks to its four 32-horsepower electric motors. You may have to look quite far up depending on the race, as these vehicles can fly between five and 40 meters high (15 to 130 feet).
However, there are still some obstacles the team has to overcome before Airspeeder can push forward. These include defining regulations around vertiports, managing airspace, and developing reliable supply chains.
That said, it's an exciting time for the future of motorsports. "Traditional motorsport fans will certainly recognize many elements of our race series," Matt Pearson told Euronews, founder of Alauda and the Airspeeder series.
Pearson continued by saying that the plan is to have "distinct teams, pit-stops, pilots and a focus on delivering the sport to as many fans as possible through globally broadcasted live streams."
"However, we do differ in the sense that Alauda, the manufacturing arm of our company, will develop the technology and set the regulations. This means that there will be [a] significant focus on the skill of the pilot and exceptional race strategy."
Ultimately, "this is motorsport for the 21st century," he said, adding "it will inspire people who are native to E-Sports as well as the more traditional motorsport fan."
A chip company is building the brains of a self-driving experimental vehicle. What sets them apart from their competitors is their use of photonic or light-powered chips, unlike the others' traditional computer chips.