by Vatsala SethiDec 31, 2022
Futuristic movies, have for years, discussed the possibility of flying cars, floating cities and cyberpunk aesthetics. The future for mankind, therefore, has been widely associated with aerodynamic designs. Bringing the future closer and giving every 90s kid the opportunity to live their Star Wars fantasies is Japan-based A.L.I. Technologies Inc. who have developed XTURISMO Limited Edition Hoverbike. Debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in September 2022, the luxury air mobile was introduced to the world with a public flight performance. While flying bikes have been in talks for a few years, XTURISMO moves beyond the experimental stages and will be available to the public through their US parent company, AERWINS Technologies Inc.
Inspired by the Star Wars saga, the XTURISMO hoverbike aims to be "a new icon of next-generation air mobility" and is set to take on unaccountable skies. With its sleek exterior design, the bike claims a maximum speed of 80-100 kmph and a cruising range of 40 km. With a hybrid propulsion system, XTURISMO consists of an internal combustion engine and four electric motors. Powered by the internal combustion engine are the six propellers, two primary and four smaller ones. The primary propellers provide the necessary lift for the hoverbike while the smaller ones act as the stabiliser. Compiling the different modules into a 3.7 m long and 2.4 m wide whole, the hoverbike weighs about 300 kg and can carry approximately 100 kg of payload. Sharing the news of the XTURISMO’s introduction to the market, the Japanese startup stated in an official statement, “A.L.I. has been developing air-mobility technology since 2017, with the aim to provide a brand-new way of experiencing the world.”
In addition to it, the catalogue of XTURISMO also mentions 'The XTURISMO original flight application' that processes a network for the bike. It not only connects to the hoverbike flight status but also navigates and supports functions. "The data acquired during a flight will be uploaded to the digital cloud regularly and analysed to improve the functions and ensure the safety of future flights. Additionally, by linking with VR/AR goggles, the user will be able to see the aerial route in augmented reality,” states AERWINS Technologies Inc. The craft's salient features include Auto Function Release, Collision Avoidance, Autonomous Driving Support and Control, Remote Navigation, Auto Steering, and Real-time Rendering Communications Visualised Sky Road, to name a few.
While the enthusiasts of the flying bike have shown curious interest, various social media platforms are discussing concerns including the VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) laws and regulations. However, as XTURISMO qualifies as an ultralight aircraft, the question of certification to fly, was answered. The smaller version of the hoverbike is said to be available in the American market by 2023 for $777,000. For now, the company is releasing a limited number of XTURISMO to take over the sky and aims to make a smaller electric model by 2025 at a lower price of $50,000.
At a point in time, where dreams and far-fetched ideas are being realised, the introduction of a hoverbike that has captured the minds of science fiction enthusiasts globally, the future that mankind envisioned, seems a step closer. First of its kind, XTURISMO seems to be widening the potential of automobile design and moving closer to experiencing the future of transportation. It then raises the question, how close are we to the reality of moving cars and floating cities?