Jake Banks | 20 Aug 2018

Mock up of Rolls Royce’s flying carEver since the screening of Back to the Future 2, the world has collectively been asking the same question. Why aren’t holographic sharks a real thing? Oh, and when is it time for the flying cars to start clouding the skies? Worry not, the flying car has finally become a reality, and is created by none other than luxury automobile brand Rolls Royce.

Now we can all finally rest easy, knowing that we may just get to see a car streaking through the sky at some point in our lifetime. Sadly, the flying car is not yet available for public purchase, but Rolls Royce’s announcement gives hope that one day it will be. At which point we can all announce that we don’t need roads where we’re going.

Progress In the Pipeline

Sadly, it seems like the development of Rolls Royce flying car will take some time. Five years, to be exact, which means a bit of waiting is still required before the inevitable influx of ‘UFO sightings’. It looks like we’ll have to rely on people misidentifying hot air balloons and weather satellites until then.

Still, the plans put forward by Rolls Royce are extremely impressive, if perhaps not resembling the flying cars from Back to the Future, and other science fiction epics. Still, that the flying vehicle design is both a hybrid, and an electric vertical takeoff and landing craft, (EVTOL,) is very exciting.

According to a press release, the flying taxi will have an incredible range of about 500 miles, and will be able to travel at around 200 miles per hour. 4 to 5 passengers will be able to fit inside, although it should be mentioned that the craft is a bit on the snug side.

But Will It Happen?

There have been rumors of flying taxis before, yet still we live in a world that has a sky absent of science fiction flying contraptions. So, will this be just another rumor, or will it really come to pass?

This first thing to ask is; how much will a ride cost? There is no official word on this, although getting a lift may just require you to hit the jackpot at a casino online. So in this regard, there may not be much of a market, unless of course you’re feeling flush!

Still, Rob Watson of the Rolls Royce electric team seems confident that the development of the fancy flying machine is going ahead. According to him there will be working prototype within a year, which sounds very promising. He likewise said that a demonstration would be held within two years, which is even more promising. In conclusion however, he said that the skies would only be seeing flying taxi in the early 2020s. A vague estimate, but still seemingly confirmation that the project will see the light of day.

Back to the Future comes to lifeElectric Plane Future

Another interesting statement made by Watson is that there is a huge market for electric planes. This is confirmed by that fact that there is not just one electric flying taxi system in development. It seems that there are, in fact, a great many of them, and even Uber has been getting in on the action. Google has also said that they are looking at a future that includes a flying car; only they chose a better name, calling their development the Kitty Hawk project.

One way or another it seems as if the Back the Future world we were all hoping for is going to be happening, one way or another. Although time travel probably really is impossible, hover boards, on the other hand...