China has been working on flying cars, as well. XPeng Motors, for one, is now at the fifth generation of its flying car, known as Voyager: just the other day, it unveiled Voyager X2 on Weibo, Electrek reports. That first link includes a video of the prototype making an unmanned flight over the countryside.
CnEvPOst has more on the specs of this flying car, which is similar to eVTOLs in development in the U.S. and Europe: it’s more of a passenger drone with eight propellers across four axes, and autonomous capabilities. The dry weight of the vehicle would be 360 kg (794 pounds), with a total payload of 560 kg (1,235 pounds), or seven or eight people.
Traveling at a maximum speed of 130 kph (80 mph), Voyager X2 would have a range of 35 minutes. It’s not enough to make it a solution for long-distance travel, but it’s better than nothing. It would work wonderfully in crowded urban areas, where people have to commute from out of the city on a regular basis. It would be a major improvement in terms of saving time, money and the ever-pressing issues in such areas, like traffic congestion and pollution.
Voyager X2 is not yet ready for testing with people onboard, but once it is, it will use several safety measures, including eight independent battery groups for redundancy, 24-hour monitor system and, as a last resort, an ejection parachute. It will also be capable of autonomous flight and, consequently, mapping the ground, self-landing, and two-way communication.
XPeng brought the previous-gen Voyager, X1, at Shanghai Auto earlier this year. Also there, it noted that Voyager X1 had already completed over 10,000 test flights and was readying for test drives by the end of 2021.
The video available below is not the one shared on Weibo, but it does show the Voyager X2 inside-out. What it doesn’t show is the flying car in motion.