Flying Car Racing: Why Motorsport will make Flying Cars a Reality Sooner

Sep 04 2020


Airspeeder owe a gratitude to the trailblazers of motor racing for their monumental advancements in the field of mobility.

I’ve often asked myself why the flying cars we were promised in science fiction haven’t happened yet.

Nonetheless, notable strides have been made by some of the world’s leading technology and engineering companies towards making flying cars a reality. The eVTOL (electrical vertical take-off and landing) sector is projected to be valued at $1.5 trillion by 2040 according to Morgan Stanley, and has attracted substantial investments from industry giants such as Uber, Airbus, and Toyota. Their focus on shared transit solutions aligns with the vision of deploying “flying taxis” to serve as transportation hubs in major cities, offering tremendous benefits to urban populations. By liberating cities from congestion and providing a clean-air, next-generation mobility solution, these flying taxis have the potential to transform urban living.

Despite the immense commercial and societal potential of this revolutionary mobility concept, there are crucial questions that need to be addressed before flying cars become a common sight above our cities. Racing, much like it did during the early days of the automobile age, can play a pivotal role in providing answers, particularly regarding performance, safety technology, and public awareness. Throughout history, we have witnessed the undeniable power of raw sporting competition as a catalyst for progress.

A century ago, the motor car was initially perceived as a weekend indulgence for the aristocracy, with doubts about its wider public appeal. Pioneering manufacturers faced the challenging task of convincing people that these new contraptions could effectively replace horses. To demonstrate their viability, highly competitive trials were organized across nearly impassable mountain terrain in Europe. While only a few “horseless carriages” managed to complete these arduous challenges, the simple sight of automobiles gracefully navigating through villages captivated and convinced all those who witnessed them that the automobile held great promise for the future.

Auto racing began five minutes after the second car was built.
Henry Ford Ford Motor Company

The car age was started in the furnace of the very first motorsport competition.

Natural human competitive instincts led to rapid leaps in performance and reliability. This was the era of giant strides not incremental improvements. Sub 20mph ‘speed records’ in the early 19th century were superseded by 100mph+ runs by the end of the first decade of the 20th. Today’s Formula 1 teams spend hundreds of millions of dollars to shave off the 10ths of seconds that separate mediocrity from greatness.

It is on the shoulders of these pioneers and outliers that I have built Airspeeder, the world’s first racing series for electric flying cars and Alauda, the performance eVTOL company that will supply the craft.

Airspeeder is the world's first flying car series

Their endeavours are a daily source of inspiration for me and my team. The racers and the engineers that built these rudimental road-going rocketships by the standards of the day drove with skill and bloody-minded competitiveness. They wowed onlookers through mastery of their machines on dirt roads, often threading a needle through medieval towns and down perilously steep mountain switchbacks.

They were fuelled by a competitive spirit that ultimately led to the performance, comfort, and safety advances we take for granted today. Without motor racing, we wouldn’t have seatbelts, ABS, and traction control.

Today, our mission to advance the cause of the flying car will benefit from the technological leaps started by our forebears and their unreasonable pursuit of going faster.

The world needs this next mobility revolution and as it always was, it’ll be the racers, the outliers, and those unreasonable ones we’ll thank for making it happen sooner.

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