(Yicai Global) June 27 -- Chinese auto giant GAC Group stunned audiences at a recent event with the debut of GOVE, a flying vehicle that can travel both in the air and on the road.
The auto has a split chassis design that allows it to be used either as an aircraft or a car, GAC said at the GAC Science and Technology Day held on June 25. When driving on land the wings are retracted and the flight cabin and chassis stay combined. When flying the flight cabin separates from the chassis which remains parked on the ground.
The flying car of GAC uses smart tech and and the tentative cruising range is 200 kilometers, said Wu Jian, director of the GAC Research and Development Center. But it has not yet been determined whether it will be piloted or unmanned, he added.
“The commercialization of flying cars takes a long time, but GAC’s team can overcome all the hurdles to be ready for long-term growth,” Wu said. The Guangzhou-based firm will gradually launch models that have longer cruising ranges and can carry more people.
Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to have advanced air mobility services by 2030, according to a research report by German consultancy firm Roland Berger. By 2050, there will be 100,000 flying cars worldwide in use as air cabs, airport shuttles and intercity airlines. Revenue from air mobility services in the region should reach USD36.9 billion by then, it added.
But there are still many challenges in developing self-driving flying autos, despite the growth potential. For one, China has no regulations on flying cars and therefore companies need to promote the formulation of policies for air mobility services.
Unmanned flying requires detection over longer distances and higher safety requirements, an investor in an assisted driving company told Yicai Global. Difficulties for flying autos will increase exponentially.
Editor: Kim Taylor