Futuristic Flying Car Display Returns to Detroit Auto Show

Once considered the stuff of science fiction and only seen in cartoons like “The Jetsons,” two flying cars will be on display during the Detroit Auto Show on Sept. 13-14 at Huntington Place in downtown Detroit.
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Flying car
The Israeli-made AIR ONE eVTOL, designed for consumer ownership and an everyday alternative for short-distance commuting in the sky, will be on display at the Detroit Auto Show. // Photo courtesy of AIR ONE

Once considered the stuff of science fiction and only seen in cartoons like “The Jetsons,” two flying cars will be on display during the Detroit Auto Show on Sept. 13-14 at Huntington Place in downtown Detroit.

For the second year in a row, the auto show will spotlight how personal mobility continues to move forward and even upward into the skies as part of its Air Mobility Experience.

Show visitors will see product displays from AIR and Alef, two electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) groundbreakers, and hear insights from them at the Wednesday, Sept. 13, kickoff for Media and Technology Days and the new Mobility Global Forum.

The forum is a two-day event from Sept. 13-14 featuring perspectives from thought leaders and CEOs in mobility, design, and technology.

AIR, from Pardes Hana, Israel, returns to the Detroit Auto Show for the second year with its AIR ONE vehicle after conducting several flight tests of the full-scale model aircraft and accruing flight hours that “have proven the validity of the design,” according to the company. The sporty two-seater eVTOL, designed for consumer ownership and an everyday alternative for short distance commuting in the sky, will be on display on the main show floor through Saturday, Sept. 23.

Show-goers will get the chance to experience what it’s like to “fly” in the cockpit of AIR ONE by way of a virtual reality simulator utilizing the same software pilots use to train.

AIR CEO Rani Plaut will share his perspectives on “Aviation and Automotive — Closing the Gap” before Mobility Global Forum audiences on Sept. 13 from 12-12:45 p.m. Plaut’s presentation will take place on the Mobility Global Forum’s main show floor stage.

Alef Aeronautics from San Mateo, Calif., comes to the Detroit Auto Show with what the startup describes as “the first and only drivable flying car with vertical take-off and landing fitting today’s road infrastructure.”  The Alef “Model A” can drive on the street, take off vertically when needed and fly overhead above traffic and yet still fit in a regular-sized driving lane, parking space and garage.  The flying vehicle will be on display on the main show floor throughout the run of the show.

Mobility Global Forum attendees also will hear from Jim Dukhovny, CEO of Alef Aeronautics, who will discuss “Alef — The First Real Flying Car in History” on Sept. 13 from 2-2:45 p.m.  Dukhovny’s presentation will take place at Alef’s display on the main show floor.

“Building upon the laser focus on electrification in vehicles and aircraft, it’s a natural progression for shows like ours to take a look at the expanding mobility ecosystem,” says Thad Szott, chairman of the Detroit Auto Show.  “Our Air Mobility Experience will again this year capture the imagination of visitors by showcasing the sky’s the limit in future mobility.”

KEY DETROIT AUTO SHOW DATES

Media Day, Wednesday, Sept. 13

Technology Days and AutoMobili-D, Wednesday, Sept. 13 and Thursday, Sept. 14

Mobility Global Forum, Wednesday, Sept. 13 and Thursday, Sept. 14

Charity Preview, Friday, Sept. 15

Public Show, Saturday, Sept. 16 through Sunday, Sept. 24