It may sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but flying car racing may come to planet Earth in 2020. Land speeder races in sci-fi movies and Formula 1 legends breaking records have excited generations of aviation, racing, and sci-fi fanatics. These same fans may now have another formidable competitor contending for their attention.
The company at the center of most of this flying car activity is Alauda Aeronautics – creator of the Alauda Airspeeder. Alauda is headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and has been working to bring racing to the skies for almost 4 years. Their Airspeeder concept builds upon the popular drone racing format and design, but takes the stakes to the next level with an increased size chassis, larger brushless DC electric motors, and a flight control system that’s designed for a “pilot” or “driver” – whichever you prefer. Here’s the teaser for their 2020 flying carGrand Prix:
Alauda’s design is familiar to that of many drone enthusiasts: a quadcopter-esque drivetrain, with each corner of the vehicle featuring two props for vertical and forward thrust. The fuselage (or body) of the Airspeeder is sleek and the cockpit is retracted towards the aft portion of the vehicle. While this may reduce forward visibility, the vehicle is safer in this configuration. Matt Pearson, founder of Alauda Aeronautics, recommitted the company to the 2020 Grand Prix bid after a 2017 Kickstarter campaign wasn’t as successful as originally intended. Now, the company is gaining momentum towards the next iteration of fundraising and progress on larger scales.
Why it’s important: Alauda’s 2020 GP has the potential to expose a much larger audience to eVTOL aircraft, UAM, and air taxis. By formulating a Grand Prix that leverages the familiarities of Formula 1 racing while adding the excitement of drone racing and aerial jockeying, Alauda is positioning themselves well for the future. It’s not difficult to find similar pathways to Alauda’s goal either: The Drone Racing League rose from being virtually unknown in 2015 to a globally recognized professional sport a mere two years later, with awareness continuing to increase. While Alauda isn’t there yet, they’re getting closer.
Learn more about the Alauda Airspeeder