When cars fly seems to be the tech-transportation adage equivalent to "when pigs fly." While pigs have yet to grow wings, engineering startup Aska just gave its car some.
As expected CES 2023 has given us a peak into what the future of smart vehicles looks like, but Aska's prototype of its A5 electric drive and fly Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVOTL) vehicle may soar above the rest.
Powered by electric batteries and a supporting small gas engine, the Aska A5 has the capability to both drive on the road and up to 250 miles by air with just one charge, which could cut time on multi-mile trips in half.
The prototype demonstrated in Vegas on Thursday was a four-seater vehicle about the size of a standard SUV, but looking a little more like a helicopter with a propeller and wings stemming from the car's top.
Aska says that the vehicle does fit in a conventional parking spot in driving mode, and when it comes to vertical takeoff and landing, it needs an area about the size of a helipad or a more conventional runway.
The Aska A5 can even take off in less than five seconds with only 250 ft of runway space, according to a press release from Aska.
Additionally, the A5's "Drive and Fly" design lets users do something we only thought the bat mobile could do -- going from driving to flying all in one trip. According to Aska, this approach will "enable air mobility to be more easily and cost-effectively adopted."
Potential drivers can charge the electric battery at home or at an EV station, as you would with any other electric vehicle. The small gas engine, which according to our sister site, CNET, provides up to 50 additional miles, takes premium gasoline.
If you're ready to fly over traffic during your morning commute, you can secure your spot on the preorder list now with a $5,000 deposit. Once available, the Aska will be sold for $789,000. Before you take off, don't get too excited because the Aska A5 can't fly until it's granted FAA clearance.
Also expected to launch in 2026 is ASKA's on-demand ride service upon FAA approval. So, even if you don't want to invest in the car for yourself, a flying Uber-like service might be in your future.
"Aska is positioned as a new generation vehicle that combines the convenience of an automobile with the ease and efficiency of VTOL and STOL flight. Aska is a vehicle that addresses not only consumers, there is also significant business potential in emergency response use, military use, as well as on-demand ride-sharing mobility services," says Guy Kaplinksy, CoFounder and CEO of Aska.
Aska says it plans on full-scale flight testing following CES and is targeting commercialization in 2026.