Monday, February 26, 2024

XPeng shows its X2 electric flying car with autonomous capabilities

Someday not too far in the future, flying cars may well conquer the skies. We’re getting closer with various companies looking into eVTOLs as the next best thing to the fabled “flying car.”

Joining the list of companies trying to make “flying cars” more accessible, XPeng Huitian, a division of XPeng Motors in China, has unveiled a new flying car prototype with autonomous capabilities. The electric flying car, called Voyager X2, is the fifth-generation flying car from XPeng, marking “another step closer to a more widely available and safe flying car.”

XPeng recently announced pre-orders for a new sedan model called the P5 at the Shanghai Auto Show earlier this year. In addition to the P5 electric vehicle, XPeng unveiled a fourth-generation flying car called the Voyager X1. Since then, the Voyager X1, with the ability to take off and land vertically in a parking space, has undergone more than 10,000 test flights and is scheduled to begin test drives in China by the end of 2021.

XPeng shows its X2 electric flying car with autonomous capabilities.
The flying car comes equipped with an ejection parachute and 24-hour monitoring system. Credit: XPeng Motors

While the X1 is still in development, the Chinese company has now shared footage of its newest flying car, the fifth-generation X2, on Weibo. The Voyager X2 is more of a passenger drone with eight propellers across four axes and autonomous capabilities. The flying car weighs 360 kg and can handle a maximum takeoff weight of 560 kg.

The device will be able to stay in the air for up to 35 minutes and move at a maximum speed of 130 km/h (80 mph). The X2 can also perform autonomous flight path planning supported by various sensors to monitor the ground, assist in returning to land, and communicate in real-time over a distance of 100 km (62 miles). Besides, the X2 will use several safety measures, including eight independent battery groups for redundancy, a 24-hour monitor system, and an ejection parachute as a last resort.

The video shared on Weibo appears to show the X2 operated remotely without any brave human passengers.