Terrafugia unveils self-driving, self-landing hybrid flying car

Credit: Terrafugia

A sleek new concept has popped up on the Terrafugia website. It's an artist's rendering of what Terrafugia is dubbing "the practical realization of the dream of countless visions of the future." And we're hard-pressed not to agree. The concept is of a new flying car, dubbed the TF-X, a hybrid gas-electric flying car.

With that said, the fact that this flying car concept is a hybrid hardly does the proposed vehicle justice. Also included in the vehicle's design is a vertical takeoff mechanism and a fully automated flight program. That's right: this car is not only the world's first flying hybrid, it's also self-driving and self-landing. While Terrafugia states that "you always have the final say if its safe to land," the TF-X is fully capable of handling the entire landing process without you.

Takeoff is automated as well. A combination of twin 600 horsepower electric propeller pods and a 300 horsepower engine handle the transition from vertical takeoff to a maximum cruising speed of 200 miles per hour with a 500 mile range. And while the engine is engaged it recharges your batteries. So you'll have power to cruise around a bit after landing, even if you've exhausted your fuel supply.

All we can say is that we'll have to see it to believe it. You won't wake up the next day and see everyone driving TF-X flying cars, but hey, the future doesn't arrive unless someone dreams of achieving the impossible.

Terrafugia, via Inhabitat

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