No Roads Needed: Google-Backed Flying Cars For Sale By End Of 2017

Tyler Durden's picture


Ever wanted to ride a flying drone? Well, if you’ve got the money, you might get the chance to by the end of the year.

ABC News reported Monday that a Google-backed Silicon Valley startup has just completed testing on an “octocopter” that’s all-electric, can seat one person, and fly up to 15 feet in the air.

The company, Kitty Hawk, says all the necessary legal steps have been taken, and the Kitty Hawk Flyer — designed only for use over water — is just about ready for production. The company says it will begin selling the Flyer this year.

“You don’t need a pilot’s license, and you’ll learn to fly in minutes,” the company said in a statement, adding that the machine is “safe, tested and legal to operate in the United States in uncongested areas.”

On its website, Kitty Hawk says life for human beings will fundamentally change when people have the ability to freely travel at will:

“We believe when everyone has access to personal flight, a new, limitless world of opportunity will open up to them.”

Last year, Peter Diamandis, founding board member of Hyperloop One — a company leading the way into the future on the subject of mass transportation — described for Business Insider what a world with millions of flying cars and self-driving cabs might look like.

“Imagine if there’s a dozen ports or buildings,” he said. “You’ll fly from New Jersey to a rooftop on 5th (Avenue) and there will be an autonomous car waiting to take you to your final destination. It’s new routing capability for humans.”

Kitty Hawk isn’t alone in its endeavors. Another company, Zee.Aero — also backed by Google — is working on an electric plane that can take off and land vertically. Another in Dubai, Ehang, says it hopes to have a passenger-carrying drone ready for service by summer.

Though the Flyer isn’t exactly a flying DeLorean, the future of human travel appears to be arriving.

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VWAndy's picture

 Can we call it the lawn dart?

Looney's picture


If the pilot seat on the drone can be replaced with a toilet bowl, I’d be willing to fly it.   ;-)


TwelveOhOne's picture

Make sure your camera is rolling for the loop-the-loop footage!  :)

DownWithYogaPants's picture

It's marginally better than the Segway with the anal probe from Southpark.

Sofa King's picture

Awesome, that is until the first decapitation video streams on Facebook...

NoDebt's picture

50 years late, but we can finally have the flying cars we were promised.  


beemasters's picture

The fuel will probably melt a skyscraper too when the narrative is right.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


On its website, Kitty Hawk says life for human beings will fundamentally change when people have the ability to freely travel at will:

Hype much?

It has nothing on powered paragliders, which have been around for years...

HooRAY4rSIDE's picture

& just think... It's "ALL ELECTRIC" ~


So just think about how much less of a carbon footprint it'll have than those COAL FIRED Chevy Volts that drive 25 miles!


Now we know why Al Gore needs that 15 trillion.


In the meantime ~ for military purposes, maybe they could lease them out to the Israeli Air Force for bombing raids as a beta testing project.

wren's picture

Fun for recreational, I doubt it will catch on for practical. I'll stick with my Harley.

If it is ever approved over land, see how long it takes for thugs in junkytown to start shooting them down and them crashing into people and buildings.

Ghost of Porky's picture

The brotha in the video be like "I ain't getting on that piece of s#&t."

inhibi's picture

Americans are not so good with physics: the higher you are, the more potential energy you hold. The more potential energy you hold, the chances of death skyrocket if said potential energy turns to actual, physical energy, say, of your body smacking the pavement. Falling from a height of 5 feet can paralyze you. 15 feet high possibility of death.

Also, this video is a joke: flying .5 miles across a lake? What is this, the new way for the uber wealthy to get to their neighbor's lake house?

The other 99% have to travel 20 miles from their shitty apartment to work. Show me a 'safe' form of travel that can bypass powerlines, rain, sleet, snow, high winds, and is so safe that when the engine fails will either parachute you out or do SOMETHING to mitigate the fiery ball of hell that will undoubtedly kill the unsuspecting civilians on the ground.

Bunghole's picture

FAA wont allow you to take off or land from a US highway or state/local route.

Guess everyone will need to have their own private airport or landing pad.

Bullish for asphalt sales

wren's picture

Vacuum tubes like in Futurama. They also created the suicide booths, perfect for progressive university campus's.

omi's picture

>What is this, the new way for the uber wealthy to get to their neighbor's lake house?

Don't laugh, that's actually a viable market segment. If it can be made to fly 2-5 miles, it's enough to be a boat replacement, and N-copter style vehicle is trivial to operate, even inebriated Floridian can do it.

mc225's picture

when flying cars become ubiquitous, we'll have both a) zero traffic jams and b) much more spectacular accidents. maybe we could ensconce the flying cars in some kind of 'safety bubble', or drivers could wear a sort of 'michelin man suit', only with helium balloons as padding.

True Blue's picture

Yeah, fat ghetto types in flying purple Escalades -just what we need. These dipshits don't check their blind spot already, think they'll check their six before merging up?

Never going to happen. (And notice this is only allowed over water.)

logicalman's picture

When I look at the standard of driving in 2 dimensions, I dread to think what will happen in 3 dimensions!

In a collision, at least the ground will be there to break their fall.

Croesus's picture

Just wait until the insurance claims start rolling in on this one...

I'm calling this the new Edsel.

Dugald's picture


No more roads, but lots more hospitals and crematoriums....old pensioners give one free.

jmack's picture

That is next year, the "bomber" model.

optimator's picture

You've XSP.  Lockheed will buy the company and sell it to the Air force, Navy, Army, and Coast Guard.  Jack of all trades, master of..........of course the price will go up and up and up until it costs as much as a B2 Spriit.

geno-econ's picture

Not over the WH---it's restricted air space

Ignatius's picture

My understanding is, if you have an emergency budget audit meeting at the Pentagon you can fly right in.

HRClinton's picture

Deplorables will turn it into a hunting platform. 

Roll out Sarah Palin as spokesperson. 

But be careful, Sarah. If you fly it upside down you will have...

Dr. Magoo's picture

I don't know about calling it a flying car, but it does look like fun

Gene Parmesan's picture

How many idiots are out on the roads fucking around with their iphone while driving a car? The last thing we need is for them to be airborne.


SilverRhino's picture

Looking at the controls on that thing, riding it is as involved as riding a motorcycle.  

When was the last time you saw a motorcyclist with his cell phone out texting??   

beemasters's picture

One day, people would look back at this model of "flying car" and laugh.

tmosley's picture

It is several orders of magnitude easier to automate flying cars than regular ones. Playing around on the iShit is fine.

Ignatius's picture

My favorite feature is the music that plays when it's flying.  I actually expected that it might be LOUD and sound like 10x my neighbor's lawn mower or a flying chainsaw.  The music is a nice touch.  I hope it has a Beethoven upgrade though.

flapdoodle's picture

The War model will come with Wagner's "Die Walkure".

Rainman's picture

Meet George Jetson !

A. Boaty's picture

Jane, stop this crazy thing!

aloha_snakbar's picture

..and his kids, Judy and Elroy!

Peterman333's picture

What could go wrong? Btw, "Back to the Future", "Mr Fusion" on the DeLorean?


Frito's picture

Will this thing carry your average Walmart customer? 

Dugald's picture


Bloody good job I had swallowed my coffee when I read your on!

True Blue's picture

Mr. Fusion on the flying DeLorean -now that actually might bring down a building or two (and turn a few square miles into irradiated glass; but who's counting.)

Bunga Bunga's picture

And 2024 to Mars with SpaceX.

Sudden Debt's picture

Well, you won't be flying those in Europe... I can't even fly my drone...

Arnold's picture

Not one mention of the FAA in the article.

One of these is not like the others..'s picture

You just need to practice more mate. I finally got my skills up with a cheerson CX32 then a hubsan H107D+.

I find I can practice literally anwhere with a CX10.

And you can fly your drone, ya just gotta follow a few simple rules, or not.

But the key is to practice, practice, practice. Then when you do move on to the 450 and beyond sizes, you can fly yourself out of trouble..

There are new tech batteries on the close horizon, being developed a few miles from our house, which will give a multiple of minutes somewhere between 2.5x and 5x for similar weight to the current lipo cells.

The only way we can all have flying cars is by someone writing and implementing deconfliction software which runs a client server architecture, and allows manual mode only as far as it doesn't cause a confliction. The computing power required at the server end to keep track of ten million self driving flying cars AND predict their possible flight paths will be awesome. Practically (assuming that their GPS works better than my GPS experience to date) deconfliction won't always be a problem simply due to the vastness of the airspace, but somethimes the computer may need to implement temporary boundaries into which you cannot not fly, the client end of the package. 


European American's picture

Tony Seba predicts that by 2025 the only new  vehicles being built will be Electric...combusion engines will be obsolete.

Clean Disruption - Why Energy & Transportation will be Obsolete by 2030 - Oslo, March 2016
truthseeker47's picture

I don't care, the car I drive is already obsolete.