Intel shows off 'flying car' at CES keynote (it's a drone)

Intel channels its inner Jetsons, flying an autonomous passenger drone inside a hotel theater at CES.

Alfred Ng Senior Reporter / CNET News
Alfred Ng was a senior reporter for CNET News. He was raised in Brooklyn and previously worked on the New York Daily News's social media and breaking news teams.
Alfred Ng

The Volocopter will be displayed at Intel's booth during CES.


We were promised flying cars. Intel said it's closer than we think. 

At CES on Monday, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off the Volocopter, an autonomous passenger drone, which he called "essentially a flying car." The Volocopter comes from a Germany-based company that launched in 2012, with its first flight in 2013. 

Intel brought it to its stage at CES at the Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Hotel on Monday, with two seats open. It took off inside the keynote venue without a pilot flying it, while it was tethered down. 

"Imagine pulling out your phone, opening up a transportation app and summoning your own personalized ride by air taxi," Krzanich said. "That sci-fi vision of the future is actually much closer than you might think." 

But don't expect to hop in a "flying car" just yet. A disclaimer popped up underneath the keynote stream, noting the Volocopter won't be available in the US until it receives authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration. 

But eager CES attendees will be able to check it out at the Central Plaza in the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

Volocopter's CEO Florian Reuter said the self-flying drone was "extremely simple to fly, quiet, and when running on its batteries, emission free." 

Watch this: Check out these highlights from Intel's CES 2018 press conference