Tuesday, April 16, 2024

HT Aero presents a flying car that can also drive on roads

HT Aero, a urban air mobility (UAM) company that’s an affiliate of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Xpeng, has presented the next-generation flying car design that can also drive on roads. The launch of the new electrically powered flying car is planned for roll-out in 2024.

The new model will be built on HT Aero’s successful record of 15,000+ safe flights completed to date, fully in-house developed R&D, and multi-level safety redundancy design.

The new generation road-capable flying car will feature a lightweight design and a foldable rotor mechanism, which will allow the car to drive on roads and then fly once the rotors are expanded. The rotor assembly is neatly tucked beneath the gull-wing doors. The vehicle will have a number of safety features, including parachutes, the company revealed.

The new road-capable model will feature a foldable rotor mechanism for seamless fly-drive conversion.
The new road-capable model will feature a foldable rotor mechanism for seamless fly-drive conversion. Credit: XPeng/HT Aero

The company has also released a video showing the computer-generated imagery (CGI) of the flying car’s seamless fly-drive conversion. From the video, it appears that there is very little groundwork put into this concept. However, HT Aero says the final design may differ from what has been shown in the video.

There is no information on the specifications of the flying car. It will be interesting to see how a battery pack will generate the necessary lift for a vehicle that is carrying mechanisms for two modes of transport, and even if it did, how long would the flight be.

Last week, the company raised $500 million from a range of outside investors, among high-profile venture capital firms.

The so-called eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicles have attracted interest from manufacturers and startups in recent times. However, there are still a number of challenges for these vehicles to be regularly used, such as regulatory and safety issues.

HT Aero’s new road-capable flying car was unveiled during Tech Day in Xpeng, where the company also unveiled the latest version of its advanced driver assistance system, called the Xpilot 4.0.