For decades, shows like "The Jetsons" and movies like "Back to the Future" had us anticipating the day when flying cars would be the norm.
Now Silicon Valley-based Alef Aeronautics is one step closer to having the first electric flying car on the roads and in the air.
The news comes after the company was granted a special certification from the Federal Aviation Administration to test its product in the skies.
"With this certification, we can actually fly close to home for different kinds of purposes," said Jim Dukovny, Alef Aeronautics CEO.
Jim Dukovny is one of the founders of the Northern California-based sustainable electric transportation company.
He says the special government certification gives his company clearance to operate its Model-A flying car over parts of Silicon Valley.
An electric vehicle capable of driving on roads like an automobile or zooming up like a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
He says it's the first vehicle of its kind to receive such a clearance for test runs from the federal government.
"I would claim it actually to be the first traditional car, and especially an electric car. It looks like a car that can be parked in a parking space, can be driven on a regular street with vertical takeoff, which is allowed by the government to fly," said Dukovny. "It's maybe a very small step for planes. It's a giant step for cars."
Alef unveiled the full-size sports model car in October 2022, along with two working full-size demonstrator cars.
Since then, pre-orders have been booming, with everyone from college students to boomers and even companies looking to get behind the wheel of this first-of-a-kind ride.
The price tag is $300,000.
"We have the regular line and priority line. You can pretty much be sure that most people on the priority line have enough cash and want to get the first account," said Dukovny. "They are early adopters. They were one of the first ones who bought Teslas. They're the first who bought a lot of new technology."
Dukovny says the six-figure sticker price for the futuristic vehicle may be steep to start, but that his company’s goal is to significantly reduce the cost for the average consumer.
"Initially for us, our plan is to get it down to below 100K and then eventually to get it close to 35K. But first cars, it's just because, as with any hardware, large hardware product, it's just like incurring the cost," said Dukovny.
As for concerns about safety, Dukovny says that "it's safer than helicopters and airplanes and safer than your regular cars on the ground."
The company says it plans to begin delivering the vehicles to customers by 2025.
With the help of the federal government, they’re one step closer to getting that goal off the ground.
"With the modern technology, you should not be standing in traffic, wasting your time, wasting everybody's time, and so on. Time is very precious," said Dukovny.
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