Electric cars have had a growing presence on the nation’s roads — and the world’s — in recent years. There’s also been a race among various manufacturers to successfully develop a flying car, a process that’s opened up plenty of discussions over the relevant safety considerations and best ways to regulate this new technology.
Alef, a company founded in 2015, has sought to bring these two lines of thinking together. Yes, they’re developing an electric flying car — and recently, they reached a substantial milestone both for their own efforts and for personal flying devices in general. The FAA recently granted Alef their Special Airworthiness Certification.
As Dezeen noted in an article on the announcement, Alef’s car stands out from its contemporaries in that its proportions make it fit normally on roads and in parking lots.
The FAA’s designation doesn’t mean that you’re about to see Alef’s distinctive vehicles zipping through the skies near you. As the company noted in its announcement, this type of certification from the FAA “limits the locations and purpose for which Alef is permitted to fly.” This is in part due to the FAA still working out its policies for cars that, as Alef’s do, have the capacity for vertical take-off and landing.
There’s also the small matter of the NHTSA still needing to approve these flying cars for the nation’s roads. We’re still a ways from them being widely available — but this feels like a step closer to that moment.
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In a statement, the company’s CEO, Jim Dukhovny, said that this designation “allows us to move closer to bringing people an environmentally friendly and faster commute, saving individuals and companies hours each week.”
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