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Video: Watch flying cars ‘racing’ in Australia for the first time

written by Isabella Richards | October 13, 2021
Alauda Aeronautics dual-racecraft test flights (Alauda Aeronautics).

Alauda Aeronautics has released a video footage of two of its electric ‘flying cars’ hovering alongside each other in Australia.

It comes ahead of the planned launch of its Airspeeder racing series at the end of this year.

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The two full-scale electric flying cars remotely piloted completed test flights in an undisclosed location near Adelaide in South Australia, the company said.

“These historic first flights refine the technology that isn’t just underpinning an entirely new motorsport but will also drive the electrical vertical take-off and landing vehicle (eVTOL) mobility revolution,” Alauda said.

Investment banking company Morgan Stanley forecasts the industry will be worth $1.5 trillion by 2040, accelerated by increasing pressure for sustainable aviation.

Matt Pearson, the founder of Alauda Aeronautics touted in September choosing a flying car race would provide a critical “testbed” for developing safety and engineering elements for the future of advanced air mobility.

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The company’s first prototype – the Alauda Mk3 – completed its inaugural test flights in June in South Australia.

In the upcoming races, Alauda said remote-pilots will be drawn from motorsports, civil and military aviation backgrounds.

Alauda’s technical team includes industry veterans from leaders in Formula 1, and aviation and automotive giants Boeing, Brabham, McLaren, Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls-Royce.

According to the company, developing key safety systems are “essential” to not only the sport, but for the wider industry.

Alauda created a ‘Virtual Forefield’, testing the first real-world trial of collision avoidance systems driven by Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and radar technologies.

The test flights provided engineers with insight into how the flying cars would perform in close proximity to others at high speeds – reflecting everyday driving on the ground.

“Racing serves as the perfect place and a space for an industry to prove its technology, refine safety systems and build global public acceptance,” the company said.

Establishing flying cars can mitigate impacts from city congestion, but also meet the needs of global logistics distribution and medical supplies to remote regions, Alauda said.

The news comes only a month after Telstra Purple announced it would provide the 5G communications technology that will be used by the electric flying cars.

Airspeeder’s race control system will include network communications, data visualisation, edge compute power, vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communications.

Christopher Smith, head of the communication giant’s services subsidiary, Telstra Purple said, “The high speeds, low latency and high-capacity connectivity of Telstra 5G will change the way car racing is experienced.”

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