Electrical car start-up Xpeng unveiled its first technology prototype for a flying car on the Beijing Auto Present on Sept. 26, 2020.

Evelyn Cheng

BEIJING — Alibaba-backed Xpeng is placing cash into flying automobile know-how as a part of the corporate’s long-term technique. 

The electrical automaker revealed Saturday on the Beijing Auto Present the primary in a collection of electrical flying autos the start-up stated it’s growing.

With eight propellers and a capsule-like body, the car resembles a human-carrying drone greater than a flying automobile. The prototype was developed by Xpeng Heitech, a know-how unit majority-owned by Xpeng and CEO He Xiaopeng.

Xpeng stated in a launch that the unit is a part of the corporate’s long run analysis and improvement, and the core companies and improvement technique stay unchanged. The corporate foresees advantages from the analysis in areas akin to precision and mapping applied sciences. 

The flying car can maintain as much as two passengers and is designed for low altitudes of 5 meters to 25 meters (16.4 toes to 82 toes), in keeping with Xpeng. The challenge is in an idea section, and the corporate stated it would consider prospects of the house earlier than continuing with any substantial funding.

“This can be a long-range R&D exploration for us to actually take into consideration mobility in a higher context,” Brian Gu, vice chairman and president of Xpeng, instructed CNBC in an interview on the sidelines of the Beijing Auto Present on Saturday.

“We expect sooner or later not solely electrical autos could have the good mobility autonomous driving options, however with different know-how, allow different units that may create a multi-dimensional ecosystem, that can be very thrilling,” Gu stated. “That is why we’re investing in that space, and performing some exploration.”

Regulation has been a serious hurdle for the event of human-carrying drones and self-driving vehicles.


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