The CEO of a South Florida aerospace company is working to develop consumer-grade flying cars built to fly hundreds of feet off the ground.
Doroni Aerospace developed a model in its Pompano Beach warehouse. Drivers push three buttons, sit back, guide a joystick and a $300,000 computer-guided, electric propeller-powered car flies.
“This is exactly the evolution of the aircraft,” Doron Merdinger, CEO of Doroni Aerospace said.
“There’s really no need to have all the bells and whistles because it works.”
The Doroni is semi-autonomous, takes off, lands, dodges hazards in the air and hovers without human help. The car cruises at 200 feet above the ground. Its maker aims to produce the first consumer model of its kind.
“We think this is for everyone,” Merdinger said.
At least six competitors are developing flying cars for rideshare.
The Federal Aviation Administration could clear models for takeoff in 2025.
Doroni Aerospace already has deposits from 300 customers who want to buy one.
“We see endless use cases,” Merdinger said.
“It could be EMS. It could be police departments, surveying farming, (or) tourism.”
In South Florida, beating traffic is a selling point, he said. However, the Doroni’s creator, who grew up dreaming of building his own Back to the Future-style time machine, sees a new way for people to enjoy nature above the trees but under the clouds.
“For me, this is the biggest thing not really getting from point a to point b faster,” Merdinger said.
“But for me, the minute that you go inside you’ve already arrived.”
If the price is a turnoff and sounds like a toy for the wealthy, Merdinger said that is not by design.
Building costs drove up the price, he said. Over time his company expects to produce smaller, more powerful, more affordable flying cars.