Last week Elon Musk and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi got in a back-and-forth on Twitter over whether flying cars will be the next big thing in transportation.
Both of their visions for the future of transport are still very much in the concept phase, but the spat raises the interesting question: Which is the more compelling?
Flying cars have been just around the corner for decades, and despite concept vehicles dating back to the middle of the last century, none has ever made it into production. There are reasons to believe things are starting to change though.
Drone technology is providing a compelling model for how to reimagine flying cars. While the concepts of the past were generally cars with wings, recent years have seen the emergence of a new breed of electrically-powered, often autonomous, multi-rotor passenger vehicles.
Chinese startup Ehang released footage last month of people riding in its autonomous passenger drone. According to CNN, the company has been flying passengers since 2015, but this is the first time they’ve released the footage.