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Flying Robot Cars Landing Soon at a Garage Near You

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Terrafugia wants to add “vertical take-off and landing” to your daily routine. The aerospace company just released the outer mold line for the TF-X, an awe-inspiring four-seat hybrid car with wings and computer-controlled flight. No runway is needed as twin electric motor pods fold out from each side of the vehicle and a megawatt of power lifts you into the air vertically, while you sit back and finally get to live out your childhood dreams of being on The Jetsons.

The Massachusetts-based company, founded in 2006 by MIT-trained engineers and MBAs, has lofty goals for the TF-X: The vehicle will have a non-stop flight range of 500 miles, fit in a standard single car garage, and recharge its batteries at electric car charging stations. It will be capable of “auto-landing” at approved sites and automatically avoid other air traffic, bad weather, and restricted airspace. Pricing will be similar to that of very high-end luxury cars today. Best of all, learning how to operate the TF-X should take no more than five hours, and flight controls will be similar to steering a regular car.

Development of the TF-X is expected to last about 10 years. The company’s first concept, the street-legal airplaneTransition, should be on the market well before then at a base purchase price of $279,000. Terrafugia hopes early adopters of the Transition will provide valuable feedback as they build out the TF-X, which they consider the practical realization of their “longer-term vision for the future of personal transportation.”

Artist rendering of vertical take-off and landing.

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“Flying Robot Cars Landing Soon at a Garage Near You”