FOR ALL THE talk of flying cars, you might be surprised to find yourself stuck as ever on the ground, commuting to work and trundling to the grocery store on old-fashioned wheels. The good news is that scores of companies are working to change that—and they’re making progress. Uber is working with manufacturers to meet its goal of starting a flying ride-hail service in Dallas and Los Angeles by the end of 2023. Plane builder Airbus is tackling technical and legislative details with Vahana, its flying car project.
And now, Larry Page’s Kitty Hawk has shown a vehicle that looks, well, real. The single-seat Flyer now looks like a glossy, professional, production-ready machine, a major upgrade over the slightly precarious prototype it showed last year. That first version had the pilot perched on what looked like a motorcycle seat, separated from eight spinning fans by a net. The whole thing resembled a flying trampoline, or, as we put it last June, something the Green Goblin would order from Skymall.