In the world of CES, tech concepts are just as plentiful as their production-ready counterparts. It’s a fun guessing game — will this product make it to customers or is it just vaporware?
Here’s a fun one: a hybrid race car/helicopter that runs on hydrogen-based fuel cells. French startup Maca Flight’s S11 concept, which the company has taken to calling a carcopter, produces absolutely no CO2 emissions and features predictive onboard safety AI.
Maca COO Thierry de Boisvilliers says the company was able to create its initial S11 concept ahead of the competition by applying existing certifications to its new designs. The startup hopes to begin real-world testing of the carcopter this year, with production beginning sometime in 2023 if all goes well.
The company’s CES 2022 booth promises a 1/3-scale model of the S11, as well as an augmented reality experience that will allow visitors to “feel the power and excitement of autonomous flight over a broad variety of landscapes and terrains,” de Boisvilliers says.
Go go gadget carcopter — Okay, so maybe the S11 isn’t a direct competitor with Tesla. Even if you take the rotors out of the equation, the S11 is more closely related to something you’d see on a Formula 1 track than a suburban highway.
As such, the S11 will be trialed on racing test tracks. Maca plans to place sensors around the tracks to ensure even unmanned flight sessions are collision-free. The carcopter will be able to hit speeds of about 155 mph — theoretically speaking, of course.
Go ahead and try it out — As much as we’d all like to fly off into the sunset as quickly as possible right about now, the S11 isn’t going to be the ticket just yet. The carcopter isn’t ready to handle test passengers yet. It’s just a series of schematics and brainstorm sessions right now.
If you want to experience the magic of the S11 at home, go ahead and scan the QR code in the above image with your smartphone. This AR version of the S11 may not be able to whisk you away, but you can at least pilot it around your living room.