TIME Innovation

Hoverbikes Are Here, So the Future Must Have Arrived

Sci-fi fans — brace yourselves

A Los Angeles–based company, Aerofex, says it has developed a “tandem-duct” aerial vehicle that hovers above the ground. It’s called Aero-X, and its maker says it is made for flying a few feet above terrain and can travel up to 45 m.p.h. (72 km/h).

Chief technology officer Mark DeRoche told the BBC that while he knows his product is part of a niche market, “There’s really nothing between a ground vehicle and an aircraft.”

The Aero-X is about the size of a small car, can hold up to two people, and looks like a way clunkier version of the speeder bikes used in Star Wars.

While most consumers will want to take the Aero-X for a pure joyride, Aerofex says it has serious purposes and could prove useful to farmers, disaster-relief services, security patrols and anyone who needs to navigate uneven terrain quickly.

But the ride comes in at a whopping $85,000. While buyers can put a $5,000 deposit to reserve a seat, the vehicle will not be delivered until 2017.

No word yet on plans to develop a hoverboard for Back to the Future aficionados. But this is certainly a good start.

[BBC]

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