A New Flying Race "Car" May Be Complete in 2021
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Many auto manufacturers are taking the step toward electric vehicles, with BMW committing to leaving gas cars behind and electric van start-ups looking toward big futures.
Companies large and small are steadily moving away from gas motors and into all-electric vehicles, but there are some that are taking it one step further. The Alauda MK3 is a flying all-electric race car, set to debut in races in 2021.
Alauda Aeronautics set to introduce flying car races
The electric Alauda MK3 looks a bit different than this cab, but it does still fly | Twenty20
Alauda Aeronautics founder, Matt Pearson, saw an opportunity to take his electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle to a global audience.
According to EVTOL News, he founded Alauda in 2016, and has steadily been moving forward toward introducing flying cars on a global scale since. The MK3 is the third iteration of this eVTOL aircraft, and is the first low-flying vehicle of its kind.
Rather than the hovering technology that most start-up companies have been using in this flying car endeavor, Pearson made the switch to a quad-copter vehicle, because it wouldn’t depend on a magnetic track like the hovering technology does.
Having to build tracks for every application of a flying car, whether for racing or hauling product or passengers, would be cost-prohibitive and limit the use of the vehicle.
Alauda Racing, the flight racing arm of Alauda Aeronautics, introduced a eVTOL vehicle that is designed to emulate Formula One race cars, with an aerodynamic shape. Test flights were done in October 2020 in Australia, and the races have been approved in two places so far: South Australia and the Mojave Desert in California, USA. They hope to eventually host championship races in Australia.
The Alauda MK3 draws comparisons to Tesla and Porsche
The Alauda MK3 reaches a top speed of 124 miles per hour, and it’s said to reach 62 mph in just 2.8 seconds, putting it on par with the Tesla Model S and the Porsche Taycan.
Why the Alauda MK3 is a car, rather than a plane, lies in the way the races are going to be run. According to Alauda Racing, racing began five minutes after the second car was built, and they continue that competitive legacy by taking cues from land bound vehicle racing to set up their own: they’ll be using pit stops to change batteries, and can reach top speeds comparable to race cars, rather than planes.
Each race is set to last around 45 minutes, with three likely pit stops. The cars will be remotely driven, though Alauda plans to have manned races beginning in 2022.
The Alauda MK3 is built specifically for these races
While the technology could, of course, be used in more commercial applications, the Alauda MK3 is designed solely for these races, and to bring the excitement and wonder of flying cars to a global population. Alauda stays on top of developing technology and will redesign and build new racing models every year.
This also means that Alauda can bypass expensive regulatory standards, which allows them to retain more funding for technological development and for expanding their races. It does have to meet some safety standards, but since it is not a passenger vehicle, the Alauda MK3 can hit the road—or the air—much sooner and far more cheaply.
In effect, Alauda saves time and money that is then spent to build and develop newer and faster models. They have also received funding from companies like BHL, the delivery company, and IWC, a luxury watchmaker.
Watch for the Alauda to begin racing later this year, and keep track of their expansion via their website.
While you may not have a flying car, the technology developed for it could have impacts in the future, as Alauda plans to use 5G to facilitate communication between vehicles. That could be an application to new electric vehicles, for example, that would help develop self-driving technology.