"It felt like Star Wars"; World’s first flying bike makes US debut
The future was on full display, soaring above the ground at the Detroit Auto Show Thursday, with the world's first flying bike making its United States debut.
Japanese startup AERWINS Technologies created the XTURISMO hoverbike, a vehicle capable of flying for 40 minutes and reaching speeds of up to 62 miles per hour.
“I feel like I'm literally 15 years old and I just got out of Star Wars and jumped on their bike," said Thad Szott, co-chair of the Motor City's auto show and one of the first Americans to take a test drive on the XTURISMO hoverbike. "I mean, it's awesome! Of course, you have a little apprehension, but I was just so amped. I literally had goosebumps and feel like a little kid."
Shuhei Komatsu, founder and CEO of AERWINS Technologies, says the company started out making drones and unmanned aerial vehicles.
The hoverbike is already on sale in Japan. Komatsu said plans are underway to sell a smaller version of the XTURISMO hoverbike in the U.S. in 2023.
The estimated price for the American version is $777,000.
Komatsu said the company hopes to get the cost down to $50,000 for a smaller, electric model by 2025.
AERWIN technologies representatives say the company also plans to go public and will make a stock offering on the NASDAQ exchange in November.