I've just returned to Manhattan from an errand in Bushwick, and on the return trip I spent nearly 30 minutes in bumper-to-bumper on the clogged Williamsburg Bridge. I think I can safely say it's every motorist's dream to own a flying car that could avoid traffic by going over it.
This month Dutch company PAL-V unveiled their eponymous product, a flying car known as the Personal Air & Land Vehicle. The two-seater drives like a car—though you and your passenger are seated in a 1+1 configuration, like Maverick and Goose—and can navigate roads well above highway speeds. When it comes time for you to soar over a traffic jam or evade the police, you need to get out and manually deploy the wicked folding rotor blades, then find an open stretch of road to work up enough steam to take off. The former act doesn't look much more difficult than deploying a manual convertible top, but the latter act requires 540 feet of open road (destroying my Williamsburg Bridge fantasies). Have a look:
The company's chief boast is that they've created a vehicle that conforms to international rules of both the road and the skies. Never mind the design challenges associated with producing a flying car—that's nothing compared to navigating the legal barriers. But yeah, you'll still need a pilot's license, and a cool 300 large to put one of these in your garage when they launch in 2014.