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by Tim Beissmann

The Californian company that launched a hoverbike last month is investigating the potential of applying its technology to a passenger car-sized vehicle.

Aerofex founder and chief technical officer Mark De Roche told CarAdvice the same technology that allows its futuristic Aero-X to hover over any surface could theoretically be applied to a car.

“It scales larger more easily than the reverse,” De Roche said of the innovative hover-tech, which in the Aero-X can support two people three metres above land or water at airspeeds up to 72km/h.

He confirmed Aerofex is currently studying a larger version for the US Government, the size of which “would approach the capacity of small cars today”.

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Aerofex describes the Aero-X as a “true crossover vehicle” designed to bridge the gap between light aircraft and all-terrain vehicles.

It envisages interest from those in the agriculture, herd management and geo-surveying industries, and says its “intuitive operation, low cost, and unique capabilities” also make it suitable for use in disaster relief and search and rescue efforts, and patrolling borders and game parks.

The Aero-X will make its first flight in 2016 before the first deliveries to customers prepared to part with US$85,000 ($90,300) begin the following year.

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De Roche says the company has no current plans to build a hovercar but sees numerous applications for the technology in the future.

“We believe you have to pull people forward, sometimes slowly, before the concept of a hovercar or aerial commuting would be adopted.

“It may happen through a tipping point event, such as intolerable traffic jams, but more likely those types of vehicles would be used first for emergency services, and then perhaps commercial air-taxis before they evolve toward private operation.”

The concept of hovercars hit headlines earlier this month when Toyota research and development boss Hiroyoshi Yoshiki revealed the Japanese car maker was “studying flying cars in our most advanced R&D area”, though would not comment on the progress made or its prospects of reaching production.

Images courtesy Aerofex.




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