July 17, 2018
British automaker Aston Martin is taking to the skies with a new concept for personal air mobility.
Dubbed the Volante Vision Concept, the luxury aircraft has vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities. Flying cars are among the top priorities for automakers and technology companies.
“[Personal] air travel will be a crucial part of future transportation and the Volante Vision Concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution,” said Matthew Clarke, brand communications manager at Aston Martin, Irvine, CA.
Volante Vision Concept
The Volante Vision Concept was produced with the help of Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Cranfield University and aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC.
“This project is at the conceptual stage to demonstrate new technologies, new materials and elegant forms while we consider routes to production of the design,” Mr. Clarke said.
Aston Martin's Volante Vision Concept. Image credit: Aston Martin
Aston Martin is hoping to provide luxurious, efficient and congestion-free travel.
An autonomous hybrid-electric vehicle, the Volante Vision Concept has space for three adults and the range for urban and inter-city air travel. It features an all-glass cockpit canopy to display information and has a sleek interior with red leather seats.
— Aston Martin (@astonmartin) July 16, 2018
Aston Martin shared a video of the Volante Vision Concept on Twitter
Demonstrating the flying vehicle, Aston Martin released a short video with a digital rendering of the Volante Vision Concept.
The top of the aircraft lifts open, and a small step comes out to invite passengers inside. It lifts into the sky and flies over a river before landing at Aston Martin.
On the automaker's Web site, another video shows a bird's eye view of different landscapes, capturing the sights future users of the flying cars may witness.
Flying car competition
Aston Martin is one of several brands working to make flying cars a reality.
According to Fortune, Uber, Rolls-Royce Motors and Alphabet's Kitty Hawk are developing personal aircrafts with VTOL technology.
Nearly all of the top luxury auto brands in the world show are also working on automation and driverless cars.
For example, German automaker Mercedes-Benz is anticipating the future shift to autonomous driving with a trip around the world while gaining insights on intelligence technology along the way (see story).
The United States is expected to lead the race in production of autonomous technology deployment and production likely by next year, with Europe and China joining in 2021. Ride-sharing economy and mobility services will be the forces that help driverless vehicles takeoff instead of consumers owning these cars themselves (see story).
Many luxury carmakers are also investing in electric vehicle development.
Jaguar is among the first legacy automakers to challenge U.S. automotive brand Tesla, an early adopter of electric driving, with the release of the I-Pace (see story). Jaguar Land Rover recently announced that by 2020, all of its cars would be at least partially electric-powered (see story).
The environmental benefits of electric vehicles are well-documented, and luxury automakers need to keep pace with technological advancements and evolving consumer demands.
“We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility,” Mr. Clarke said.