Aston Martin's Volante gives flying cars a luxurious twist
Unveiled at Farnborough Airshow, the concept is the company's up-market answer to rapidly rising city populations
British luxury vehicle maker Aston Martin has joined the flying car revolution with its Volante Vision Concept, a luxury aircraft with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities, announced at the Farnborough Airshow on Wednesday.
The Volante is the company's up-market answer to the problem of rapidly rising populations across cities globally - and the resulting increase in congestion and pollution.
“With the population in urban areas continuing to grow, congestion in towns and cities will become increasingly demanding," said Aston Martin president and CEO Andy Palmer.
"We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility. Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation, the Volante Vision Concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution."
Produced in partnership with the UK's Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce, the autonomous hybrid-electric flying car has room for three adults and is designed to ease residential pressure in cities.
“Humans have always spent on average, one hour commuting to and from work," said Mr Palmer.
"The distance we live from our workplace has been determined by the methods of transportation available. The Volante Vision Concept will enable us to travel further with our hourly commute, meaning we are able to live further away from where we work. Cities will grow, and towns that are today too far away from cities to be commutable will become suburban.”
The introduction of autonomous and electric propulsion technologies into new aircraft designs is both inevitable and challenging, according to Cranfield Aerospace Solutions CEO Paul Hutton.
Rolls-Royce has already delivered hybrid-electric systems for other applications including ships and trains, and the Volante will use high performance hybrid-electric propulsion technologies for personal air mobility concepts "that could transform the future of transportation", according Rob Watson, director, Rolls-Royce Electrical.
Aston Martin EVP and chief creative officer Marek Reichman said: “We are at the beginning of a new generation of urban transportation, vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy.
"We have a unique chance to create a luxury concept aircraft that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology."
Updated: July 18, 2018 04:45 PM