The dream of jumping up and over the traffic with a flying car is one step closer to becoming a reality, according to Xpeng’s subsidiary, Xpeng AeroHT. The Chinese company has completed the first test flight for the latest version of its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) car.
Looking a bit like an EV that has had a quadcopter drone glued to the top of it, the updated prototype of the flying car completed its maiden flight on October 24, as part of Xpeng 1024 Tech Day. The vehicle can be seen breaking its earthly shackles and rising up, moving around, and then landing once again in a video published by the company.
The result of a series of optimizations over a dual-rotor model shown a year ago, this new model now features a new “distributed multi-rotor configuration.” It also has a dual-engine backup system to ensure increased safety. That came in handy as Xpeng writes that the vehicle successfully completed a number of single-motor failure tests.
Read: Xpeng’s All-Electric VTOL Aircraft Takes Flight In Dubai
Despite the plethora of rotors and motors, Xpeng AeroHT says that overall system design complexity has been reduced since its previous model, in an effort to further enhance reliability and safety.
The company was also testing a new flight control system with fault-tolerant control functions. The car will be flown using the steering wheel and the right-hand gear lever. These controls will allow the driver to move the vehicle forward and backwards, make turns, ascend, hover, and descend. On the road, meanwhile, it will be driven like any other car.
Although it’s unclear how from this prototype, Xpeng AeroHT says that the car will feature fold-away rotors to make it more suitable for the road when it’s back on earth. If you don’t want your aircraft to also have wheels, Xpeng is working on a more focused eVTOL called the X2, which recently enjoyed its first public flight in Dubai.
Back on land, Xpeng also produces more focused, land-based transportation with electric vehicles like the P7, which is a competitor for the Tesla Model Y. Earlier this summer, the company reported that it had made its 200,000th EV of all time.