Flying cars on the runway

Flying cars could take off before the end of the year.

Airbus is hoping to test a flying car prototype this year, and says it expects production to begin by 2021.

This is according to Airbus chief executive Tom Enders, who was speaking at a technology conference in Germany.

Airbus set up a division called Urban Air Mobility last year to develop a flying car programme with vehicles able to take off and land vertically. Its aim is to produce vehicles able to carry multiple passengers, enabling them to book a ‘flight’ via an app.

Tom said, ‘One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground. We are in an experimentation phase, we take this development very seriously.’

Airbus is not the only one working on this technology. Google founder Larry Page has invested in two flying-car start-ups, Uber has already published a white paper outlining the plans of its project, Uber Elevate, to get cars airborne by 2021, while Chinese company E-Hang is understood to have a prototype design.