AirInsight attended the North American International Auto Show in Detroit earlier today, and met with two aircraft companies displaying their wares. A story on the Icon A5 can be found here, and an interview with AIR on their unique urban electric flying car can be found here.
Both companies were invited by the auto show as personal mobility technology is changing. Many of the challenges facing both ground and airborne transportation have similar goals, including increasing the power-to-weight ratio of batteries to improve efficiency.
AIR brought its Air One vehicle to the auto show for one main reason – “this is where the customers are” according to Rani Plaut, President of AIR, which is based in Israel. The company completed its first hover test earlier this year and is on target for certification by 2024. The Air One will have a top speed of 155 mph, a range of about 100 miles, and a recharge time from 0 to 100% of about one hour. This aircraft could be the way to reach a weekend retreat, or perhaps fly over traffic to avoid a long commute.
AIR, with its Air One, and Icon, with its A5, are both after the personal transportation market with two-seat aircraft that provide unique characteristics and capabilities. Those are the same folks who own high-end cars and will attend the auto show charity preview, a black-tie event, later this week.
The cars at the auto show, particularly some new concepts, are taking on aircraft-like characteristics. As it always has. Photos of some of the more interesting and aerodynamically shaped prototypes at the show are aircraft-like in some of their characteristics. This prototype from Buick certainly doesn’t look like the one your grandfather drives.
This prototype from Lincoln has an extremely exotic appearance.
Another Lincoln prototype is slightly more conventional taking advantage of the space electric cars can offer.
The Cadillac Lyriq is now in production and taking orders for 2023 deliveries, with an exotic look of its own.
The one thing about auto shows is that they remain fun to visit and highlight the direction technology is taking. With electrification and sustainability key goals for transportation, technology will be driving major changes in how and what we drive, and even what we fly, over the next decade.