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What’s next, flying cars? Well actually…

Tech > What’s next, flying cars? Well actually…

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From cars that can fly to cars that gobble up pollution, vehicles continue to push the limits and we think these latest ideas are seriously cool.

03 August 2021, 4:54 PM

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A British designer has created a car that strips the air of pollution as it drives along, and there’s plans to make a million of them!

Thomas Heatherwick showed off the pollution eating car (nom nom nom) at the recent Goodwood Festival of Speed, and it is hoped that the ‘Airo’ will go into production in China in 2023. The future really is right around the corner.

The car has a large glass roof and the interior is designed to look like a room, with adjustable chairs that can be turned into beds, a central table intended for meetings or meals, and a steering wheel that is hidden in the dashboard (sneaky!). This awesome design is addressing not just the pollution issue, but is also helping to solve the ‘space crisis’.  

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the space crisis: many of us are living in flats and houses but need more space, and with one billion cars in the world – why not turn them into ‘valuable real-estate’? That's one way to get on the property ladder...  

But how does it chow down on pollution?

Well, the front grill of the car is fitted with an air filter which can collect ‘a tennis ball’s worth of air particles per year’. We know what you’re thinking – is that it?! But with a million of these vehicles in China alone, it adds up!

Don’t fancy one? What about a flying car then?!

Thought so ?

Thanks to incredible engineering and creative minds, a prototype flying car has completed a 35-minute flight between international airports in Slovakia. The hybrid car-aircraft, known as the ‘AirCar’ (duh) has a BMW engine, a propeller and a parachute. It runs on regular petrol-pump fuel at the moment, but we’re watching this space for more eco-friendly fuel options in the future!

The car took around two years to develop and was created by Physicist, Stefan Klein. The car can fly around 600 miles at a height of 2,500 metres, and has clocked up 40 hours in the air so far. And the best part – as if a flying car isn’t awesome enough - it takes just 2 minutes and 15 seconds to transform from sports car into aircraft as the narrow wings fold down along its sides – a real life Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

In the air, the car can reach a cruising speed of 105mph (better call Air Traffic Control!) and can carry two people with a combined weight limit of 31 stone.  

There are high expectations (geddit?) for the promising market of flying cars, which have until now been mere dreams shown off in movies. So, will this prototype take off? And will air pollution munching cars be on our roads soon? We’ll get our goggles ready!

Next article: Olympics going for gold with inventive ways to recycle

Warning: may blow your mind!

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