Though it’s not exactly what The Jetsonspredicted, AeroMobil’s flying car may hit the road—er, sky—as soon as 2017.
During an appearance at this week’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, AeroMobilCEO Juraj Vaculik said the company hopes to release its first model within three years, The Verge reported.
Vaculik described three “prisons” of modern commuting, which he apparently likened to a communist regime: the traffic prison, airport prison, and prison of bad infrastructure.
AeroMobil is based in Slovakia, formerly a part of the old USSR’s Czechoslovakia client state.
Vaculik said self-driving cars are only a “partial” solution to these problems, according to The Verge. To truly bust out of commuting jail, you need flying cars.
Following the October unveiling of the AeroMobil 3.0 prototype, the company has been flight-testing its hybrid transportation option in real conditions since the fall.
The company has been developing a flying car for decades. The AeroMobil 1.0 concept was rolled out in the early 1990s. A decidedly more sci-fi-looking concept was introduced in 1995 and developed up until 2010.
Between 2010 and 2013, the Slovakian company worked on the AeroMobil 2.5, described as a “pre-prototype” of the Aeromobil 3.0 concept unveiled last year. Built predominantly from advanced composite material, the vehicle contains all the main features likely to show up in the final product—avionics equipment, autopilot, and an advanced parachute deployment system.
Aside from the soaring over traffic congestion, AeroMobil’s prototype also solves the quandary of take-off and landing limitations—the new model is reportedly capable of taking flight from a grass strip. Vaculik proposed laying patches of turf laid next to freeways and gas stations to allow AeroMobil drivers easy access to the air.
There are numerous hurdles the company and its futuristic vehicle must clear to get the go-ahead for sale in the United States, including local and state regulations, as well as what’s likely to be a very steep initial price. But Vaculik was hopeful that costs will drop, making the AeroMobil more than just a toy for the rich.
He declined to name a specific price, telling the SXSW crowd only that the AeroMobil will go on sale for a “couple of hundred thousand” euros.