Flying cars just came closer to becoming a practical reality: Volvo’s parent Geely has completed its purchase of Terrafugia.
Following the acquisition, Terrafugia aims to deliver its first flying car to the market in 2019.
After months of rumours, Volvo’s parent company, Geely, has acquired flying car startup Terrafugia, bringing vehicles that transition from the roads to the skies a step closer to reality.
Terrafugia’s ‘street-legal airplane,’ Transition, was approved last year by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be certified as a Light Sport Aircraft, paving the way for the development of hybrid vehicles weighing up to 1,800 pounds
Geely announced this week that it has acquired Terrafugia’s operations and assets in their entirety.
Mr Li Shufu, founder and chairman of Geely, said: ‘The team at Terrafugia have been at the forefront of believing in and realizing the vision for a flying car and creating the ultimate mobility solution.
‘This is a tremendously exciting sector and we believe that Terrafugia is ideally positioned to change mobility as we currently understand it and herald the development of a new industry in doing so.
‘Our investment in the company reflects our shared belief in their vision and we are committed to extending our full support to Terrafugia, leveraging the synergies provided by our international operations and track record of innovation, to make the flying car a reality.’
Since it was formed in 2006, Terrafugia has been working on flying cars, and has since developed a number of working prototypes.
Transforming flying cars from curiosity to something that has a meaningful impact on urban mobility will be incredibly difficult, and some experts wonder if it’s even worth the time, effort, and resources that companies like Airbus, Uber, and now Geely are committing to it. Uber says it plans to launch its flying taxi service in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Dubai as soon as 2020, but it will likely take years, if not decades, for this type of technology to achieve commercial success.
Geely and Terrafugia haven’t committed to a specific date to launching its own service. So don’t expect to see Volvo-branded cars buzzing between rooftops anytime soon.