That looks pleasingly lethal
If you should chance to be standing a little close when it starts up or lands... I wonder how they detect people standing in the arc of the propellers?
HT Aero, a subsidiary of Chinese automaker XPeng, says the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has granted it a flight permit for its two-seater electric "flying car," the XPeng X2. The aircraft is the first manned electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle to obtain the permit and HT Aero's fifth- …
Its just the next iteration of the standard CLFM* design. There have been a series of these demonstrated over at least the last decade, all following the same general design: a central cabin supported by four knee-height rotors. None of them have had any way to keep people from entering an operating rotor's disc or to prevent the rotors hitting obstructions during landing or takeoff.
* Chinese Lethal Flying Machine
I'm surprised they havent encapsulated the rotors. First, there's the obvious danger to anyone and everyone in the vicinity during take-off and landing. Second, in the event of an emergency exit, the chances of someone escaping from, for instance, a burning X2 without catching a blade is pretty low, and thirdly, a blade off event (due to mechanical failure, bird strike, clipping something), means that blade is going to be launched at a very high speed, and the occupants have a very high chance of wearing the blade. That Carbon Fibre body is unlikely to stop a blade out event after all, or even slow it down.
Ok, I get why they probably didnt go for ducted fans - weight and complexity. But having witnessed a blade out test, and the damage that can do, I certainly wouldnt be getting into that "car" anytime soon.
Many years ago I worked for a large steam turbine manufacturer. We had an evacuated overspeed pit, which essentially consisted of a ten foot diameter concrete pipe lying on its side, with the gubbins inside, and which was pumped down to a fairly hard vacuum to prevent the blade tips from overheating. One day there was an almighty bang and the rotor under test disintegrated in a cloud of metallic bits. Some half an hour later, Mr. Plod rang to ask if we had recently lost a rotor blade, it had landed in a field 4½ miles away, narrowly missing the farmer who was ploughing the field. We found a large hole in the top of the pipe, through which the four foot long blade had exited, so the facility was decommissioned and a new, stronger installation built.
Every time someone starts with "flying cars", I start thinking about energy usage (forget about decapitations, mass accidents and general carnage).
The world is in the middle of an energy crisis. Gas (or petrol depending on where You are) prices are going through the roof.
We have several changes in usual habits - like people avoiding to fly, trains getting more used and so on.
And then we see this: what must be one of the most intensive and less efficient use of energy to move someone from "A" to "B". There must be a market for this, of course. No one said a Ferrari is efficient. But boggles the mind to see people investing all this time and engineering on something like this.
Or maybe I'm just an old grumpy git. Who knows?
Sorry, but I have never understood the obsession with flying cars. If you are rich, buy a helicopter or airplane and pay someone to fly it for you, or learn yourself. Something like that lethal X2 will inevitably be restricted to helipads and airfields, and given the potential for damage/injury, will probably be banned from those too. The requirements for regular inspections of such vehicles is going to cost just as much as those of a helicopter so yer gonna have to be rich just to operate one, let alone the energy/purchase costs. Nice idea, but the reality is that what goes up must come down (unless you manage to reach escape velocity) and that is where all the damage occurs.
Helicopters are mechanically complex and therefore pretty expensive to operate (in the range of US$1k per hour) and difficult to fly. Because of both, it is expensive to get a pilots license (in the range of US$100k, and many times that if you intend to fly commercially), meaning that you have to spend $$$ to fly yourself or spend $$$ to hire a pilot to shuttle you around.
An electric quad- or octocopter could be significantly less complex (since you would not have turbines or a tilt rotor), and with automation much easier to fly. In theory, together that could bring down the operating cost considerably, so even people that are not obscenely rich could afford an occasional trip, but also the merely rich.
So if you build one, the market will be there, even with all the limitations you mention in terms of restrictions, licensing, payload, etc.
Helicopter licensing is difficult for a reason.
People can't even drive in two dimensions without causing fatal events, three dimensions will be an order of magnitude worse.
Power lines, other vehicles, birds all must be dodged and when not dodged you need the now destroyed flier to not drop into people's homes.
Add to that the nasty tendency for people to get drunk or try to show off how good they are at aerial acrobatics.
No way do I see flying one of these to be any less regulated than a helicopter.
All these fancy hotrod junk are dreadfully easy ways to get yourself killed.
Motorcycles, mopeds, e-bikes even. Skateboards!
Also jet boats, hopped-up cars. A good one is a gas-powered remote-controlled airplane that crashes into your neighbour's house & lights his roof on fire, there's a classy way to make your acquaintance.
John Denver provides a cautionary tale. He bought his new home-built, with several years of good service under its belt, but with an awkward fuel tank switcher up & behind his left shoulder. ("For Safety Reasons")
So he takes it for a rip, and runs the one tank out, so he unbuckles his harness and kinda twists around to yank that lever over. Meanwhile he pushes with his right foot onto full right rudder at about 150 ft above the deck. Instantaneous nose dive and ker-splash! I think he got decapitated by that one.
Every time you try one of these things it's your "last chance".
Leaving aside the dangers from the rotors, the carbon cost, and the sheer silliness of this, it's pretty obvious that it will only be able to use "normal" roads that have no pedestrians and no other traffic.
Anyone who has cycled along as a vehicle has passed by closely knows the power of the slipstream. Roads are twisty, hilly, and pass shelted sections then sections where wind is funneled in. Vehicles' grip on the surface is an assumption inherent in the design of roads.
Basically, this is a big passenger-carrying drone, and drones are not happy travelling along the ground. It won't work. It will have to fly up higher.