This flying vehicle may become the airborne auto-rickshaw of tomorrow


New products and concept vehicles almost always grab maximum attention at automotive exhibitions but when there is a flying vehicle on display, expect it to be the real attention-grabber. And so it is that the Xpeng flying vehicle is once again expected to grab the spotlight and put it on itself at the Shanghai Auto Show which officially starts from Wednesday.

While it is not the first time that the world has had a chance to check the aerial vehicle out – it was first showcased at the Beijing Auto Show last year, the prototype is believed to have seen some more work on it since then. Developed by Xpeng Heitech, it promises to showcase what the future of mobility may look like.

Designed to ferry two passengers at an altitude anywhere between five metres and 25 metres, the flying vehicle – no, it doesn’t have an official name yet – could become an ideal urban transportation option. Powered by eight tubrofans, it has reportedly undergone over 10,000 safety tests so far.

Not much is yet known about the speeds it can achieve or the on-board safety highlights but Xpeng maintains that it is working to have the concept version reach some semblance of practical application.

Flying vehicles have long been seen as the future of mobility – often becoming part of folklore and sci-fi books and movies. And while there has been a race of sorts to have a flying vehicle that can be feasible, practical and economical for people at large, it still remains to be seen how soon one can jet off into the skies from absolutely anywhere at all.