If you hate your morning slog to work, you’re not alone, and it turns out many Americans would pay a surprising amount of money to turn their commute into a short jaunt through the skies. Flying cars and taxis are one of the hottest concepts in modern transportation, and according to a new survey by the University of Michigan, people are willing to put their money behind the idea.
In the survey, the researchers asked responders to indicate if several ranges of purchase prices for flying cars were one of four options: definitely affordable, probably affordable, probably not affordable, or definitely not affordable. Of the 508 people surveyed by UM psychologists Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, 24 percent said $100,000 to $200,000 was an affordable price for a flying car. Not many, but some, were even cool with dropping even larger sums on the technology, like the 2.2 percent of respondents who said they’d pay between $600,000 and $1,000,000 to own one. About three percent were willing to hit the middle ground of $200,000 to $400,000. And while personal flying cars may be less likely than the flying air taxis hitting Dubai this summer, companies like Slovakia-based AeroMobil announced that it will be taking orders for its personal flying car at the end of the year.
It’s important to note that about twenty-four percent of survey responders also make over $100,000 a year, and that the study doesn’t break down the responses by income. But with only 5.3 percent of the responders making over $200,000 a year, the most popular price tag of $100,000 to $200,000 is still a serious chunk of change for something that is still effectively a car, even if it is an autonomous flying one.
The researchers found that a flying car like the one being offered by AeroMobil that will likely require a pilot’s license to operate was only very interesting to twenty-six percent of responders. In comparison, fully autonomous flying cars were very interesting to forty-one percent of responders. Experts like Bill Ford, the executive chairman at Ford, have said that flying cars are going to have to be autonomous to make it off the ground because people are bad enough at driving in just two dimensions.
Since there aren’t any flying car options on the commuter market right now, and AeroMobile is offering a rough range of hundreds of thousands of dollars, we’ll have to wait to see if “very affordable” means “yeah, I’m buying a flying car for a million dollars.” In the meantime, maybe figure out just how many thousands of dollars you hate your commute.