The company on Sunday said it has begun feasibility studies of a four-seat, vertical takeoff and landing plug-in hybrid-electric flying car, the TF-X. The vehicle will "further increase the safety, simplicity, and convenience of personal aviation" by using state-of-the-art intelligent systems and other technology, Terrafugia said.
"This is the right time for us to begin thinking about the future of the company beyond Transition development," Carl Dietrich, Terrafugia's chief executive and chief technology officer, said in a press release. "We are passionate about continuing to lead the creation of a flying car industry and are dedicating resources to lay the foundations for our vision of personal transportation."
Terrafugia was founded in Woburn, Mass. by pilot-engineers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The company's entire focus revolves around building practical flying cars. An earlier vehicle, the Transition, currently is undergoing test flights and drive tests to evaluate its durability.
No specific date has been set for certification and initial production of the two-seater aircraft with folding wings, though Terrafugia said it's nearing time for those steps.
Terrafugia noted Sunday that the Transition program serves as a "proof of process" for TF-X development and commercialization. It added that both "could result in significant economic benefits and personal time savings," and conversations with the Federal Aviation Administration about the TF-X concept have shown the agency's "willingness to consider innovative technologies and regulatory solutions that are in the public interest and enhance the level of safety of personal aviation."