Watch Two Electric Flying Cars Drag Race in the Aussie Desert

Two hovering vehicles recently competed in the first-ever timed electric flying car drag race over the arid outback of South Australia. Two eVTOL racers competed in a 400-meter (1,312-foot) drag race north of Adelaide, flying at speeds of up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour barely 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground.

The flying automobiles are propelled through the air by eight independent spinning rotors, two on each corner of the vehicle in a “octocopter X arrangement.” The powertrain has greatly improved over earlier generations of the Airspeeder, the proof-of-concept Mk2, resulting in a 95 percent increase in power while weighing just 100 kg (220.5 pounds). Alauda says that their innovations enable the Airspeeder Mk3 to handle the tight turns that F1 vehicles can, all while controlling the skies.

Alauda Aeronautics produced the two eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) racers, which are crewless four-rotor-flying vehicles powered by electricity. For the time being, the vehicles controlled remotely, with a system of LiDAR and RADAR technologies assisting with navigation. 

Now that they have completed this test, the event’s organizers, Airspeeder, expect to get closer to the world’s first crewed electric flying vehicle races with human pilots in the cockpit.

Flying car races might become prominent motorsport in the near future, according to Airspeeder, who sees this as the “beginning of the electric flying vehicle racing period.”

Their flying vehicles have the added benefit of running on clean, renewable energy, in addition to not having the physical infrastructure required by traditional motorsport. 

They plan to begin a crewed Airspeeder Racing series in 2022, with events taking place in yet-to-be-announced venues. They also intend to significantly increase the speeds of these cars, with high racing speeds of 300 kilometers per hour (186 miles per hour) being the goal.

“With the world’s first electric flying vehicle races, we’re on the verge of making racing and mobility history.” This test race offers a look into the future of motorsport and transportation to the rest of the globe. In an emailed statement, Matt Pearson, Founder & CEO of Airspeeder & Alauda Aeronautics, stated, “This first test drag-race is a momentous event in the birth of our sport and a big leap forward for the development of electric flying vehicles.”