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January 10, 2024
While the flying car drew lots of attention from attendees, the more practical action was that Xpeng announced that its other flying vehicle innovation would become available for individual pre-orders this year with deliveries planned for late 2025.
The Land Aircraft Carrier modular model involves two parts, one for driving and one for flying.
The six-wheeled ground vehicle essentially carries the flying component inside it. To fly, that part of the vehicle totally detaches and becomes a standalone electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle for low-altitude flights.
The ground vehicle can accommodate up to five passengers, as currently designed. It has three axles with all-wheel drive for all six wheels, with rear-wheel steering.
The air vehicle is fully electric and supports both manual and automatic flying.
Xpeng, believed to be the largest flying car company in Asia, made the announcement at a well-attended press conference on the floor of CES, where the other flying car prototype made its first appearance outside of China.
Xpeng Aeroht is an affiliate of Chinese automaker Xpeng Motors.
“Xpeng Motors is at the heart of a revolution in mobility,” said Brian Hongdi GU, vice chairman and president of Xpeng Motors. “The future of mobility goes beyond cars. Whether people want to travel by cars, air or other ways, we aspire to change what’s possible.”
The flying car at CES looked like a car with large propellers atop it. However, a live demonstration showed how the wings folded up into the car for on-road driving,
The Land Aircraft Carrier model is more practical in the short term since the land and air components can be developed and treated separately.
Xpeng raised $500 million in a series A financing round in 2021 and is backed by a consortium of investors, including Sequoia China, Eastern Bell Capital, GGV Capital, GL Ventures and Yunfeng Capital.
The company has conducted an autonomous test of its EAV with the two-seater X2 taking off, flying over buildings and landing, showcased in a video by the company.
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Editorial Director AI & IoT
Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book is titled "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis). He also is the author of "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things). He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.
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