Turkey's flying car prototype nears takeoff

Flying car should be smart enough to be used by everyone, says chief technology officer of UAV producer Baykar.

Anadolu Agency / ISTANBUL

The prototype of a high-tech airborne car, designed by Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) producer Baykar, is close to taking to the air, the firm's chief technology officer said Wednesday.

Commercializing the vehicle, named Cezeri, will take 10-15 years, Selcuk Bayraktar told Anadolu Agency's Finance Desk at the Istanbul technology and aerospace fair Teknofest.

"It is a type of large drone, it must be simple enough for anyone to fly," Bayraktar underlined.

While being a pilot requires special permits, medical reports, and training, it must be smart enough to be used by everyone, he noted.

"The flying car is a topic of the future," he said, underlining that several international studies and tests have been launched on flying taxis.

Touching on Baykar's new armed UAV, named Akinci, he said tests were underway and that the aircraft was expected to start flights this October.

He added that Baykar would cooperate with Ukraine on joint production for Akinci's engines.

Bayraktar said Teknofest, which is free to all visitors, is a unique festival in the world.

"Teknofest is not just an airshow or technology fair, it aims to achieve a paradigm shift in the society from ages seven to 70," he said.

Teknofest Istanbul prepares young people for future technologies, he stressed.

Underlining that Turkey's initiative to develop national technology should mobilize its society, Bayraktar said the country must pave the way for entrepreneurs.

With Turkish people attuned to using technology, the country should strive for greater research and development, said Bayraktar, who is also the chairman of the Turkish Technology Team (T3) Foundation.

He highlighted that producing technology within Turkey was not enough, but that technology should be developed in the country as well.

Istanbul Ataturk Airport is currently hosting the six-day Teknofest, co-organized by the T3 Foundation and Turkey's Industry and Technology Ministry. Anadolu Agency is the festival’s global communications partner.

The festival boasts a host of activities such as aviation shows, seminars, workshops, a drone championship, contests, and concerts.

More than half a million tech enthusiasts attended last year’s premier festival, also at the new Istanbul Airport. This year, the festival is expected to double attendance, attracting a million visitors.