Self-driving cars are a no-go, so let’s all pretend flying cars are coming

Some decades ago we were expecting that by now we’d be comfortably riding in our own self-driving car. Clearly, that didn’t happen, but, folks, don’t despair. We have the world’s first all-electric flying race car.

Do we really need a flying race car? Well, I think not, but in any case meet the Airspeeder MK3 that made today its first flight over the deserts of South Australia…

Matthew Pearson, the founder of Alauda Aeronautics that built the vehicle, explained that it will be flown in a Formula One–style series of races, with up to 10 aircraft flying at the same time. Three races will take place later in 2021, in locations yet to be announced.

The aircraft has space in its cockpit for a pilot, but for now it’s controlled by “telebotic avatars,” called the “Aviators,” linked to pilots on the ground. Once the uncrewed races prove to be safe, the company hopes to replace the avatars with physical elite pilots drawn from aviation, motorsport, and eSports backgrounds.