Nearly two decades into the 21st century, one might have expected to have a hoverboard or flying car by now. We are not quite there yet, but thanks to Silicon Valley start-up Kitty Hawk, it might be on the horizon. Earlier this year, a prototype surfaced that — well, it looks much more like an oversized drone sitting on top of a pair of pontoons than any sort of hoverboard or flying car — but was capable of sending a pilot soaring through the air for several minutes. The Flyer is light enough that it requires no license in the United States, and seeks to fulfill a dream of an agile personal aircraft that anyone can use.
Kitty Hawk had hoped to launch a consumer version by the end of 2017, but that now looks unlikely, and the price tag has not yet been disclosed. It has turned some significant heads, however — Google co-founder Larry Page, for example, has given the company his financial backing. It remains to be seen if the device will live up to its promises, and if society — in terms of both people and legislation — is ready for such contraptions. In the meantime, we can comfort ourselves knowing that at least we already have self-driving cars.