American Automobile Manufacturers Talking Seriously About Flying Cars

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is partnering with electric aviation startup Archer to mass-produce flying automobiles, really more like helicopters or drones. General Motors also released designs for an autonomous flying car recently.

January 14, 2021, 10:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Michael J. Cohen reports that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is angling for a foothold in the flying car market by partnering with an electric aviation startup.

"On Jan. 12, the electric aviation company Archer announced it is partnering with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to mass-produce its aircraft starting in 2023."

According to Cohen, the partnership is the first of its kind, but there will likely be more electric aviation startups working with large automobile manufacturers in the near future, all attempting "to crack the massive market for short-haul electric aviation."

"Archer, along with rivals such as Joby and Beta, is building a vertical take-off and landing aircraft intended to provide 'faster, sustainable, and affordable urban transportation,'" according to Cohen. Brett Adcock, Archer co-founder, is quoted in the article saying the company is building the "world's first all-electric commercial airline."

Numerous challenges, not the least of which includes the challenges of scaling up manufacturing, still stand between the companies and their ambitions. The industry does poised to one of the challenges inherent to the idea of fleets of flying cars, according to the article, by recently advancing electric aviation technology to the precipice of the global market.

Not to be outdone, General Motors recently released designs for an autonomous flying Cadillac, according to an article by Reuters. The flying Cadillac, technically a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone, will fit one passenger. The article notes that Toyota Motor, Hyundai Motor, and Geely Automobile have previously revealed concept aerial vehicles. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021 in Quartz

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