Monday, July 18, 2011

Say Goodbye To Expressway Jams And ERP Charges Forever

In Singapore, for around S$300,000 you would be able to buy a new 2010 model HSV Senator Signature (current COE included).

What you maybe didn't know, is that for the same price, you could be the proud new owner of a "Terrafugia Transition"... but this is no ordinary vehicle! It is the latest flying car to have just received approval to take off from the US National Highway Safety Administration (scroll down for videos).

In fact, it is highly probable that this amazing vehicle will be on the US roads as early as next year. Already more than 100 people have paid the $10,000 deposit to secure their very own future car.

The company behind the ground-breaking plane-car, Terrafugia, is now looking to also break in to the global market, beginning with Europe. The Civil Aviation Authority has made the statement that the US clearance would probably pave the way for the "Transition" to get the same clearance from the European Safety Agency, because safety standards are very similar between there and Europe.

The "Transition" is a two-seat plane constructed of carbon-fibre. It can take off from almost any long straight road, and once in the airborne can reach speeds up to 185km/h.

In true Transformer fashion, the wings fold up in 15 seconds, and with power shifted to the rear wheels, it can travel up to 100km/h on land - the overall compacted size is similar to that of a large sedan.

The vehicle will be available to those people holding a light-aircraft licence, but only requires around 20 hours of flight training.

So how would this go in Singapore? I'm guessing many people would love to be able to soar high above the jammed expressways in peak hour traffic and look down in disdain at the ERP gantries... but with not many places to take off and land, I'm not sure the idea would really 'take off' here (pardon the pun).

I'm also wondering what the quota would be and how much this class of vehicle would fetch in the twice-monthly COE bidding :)

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