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Start-up of the Week: Alauda Aeronautics looks to change the motorsport playbook

IFM_Alauda Aeronautics
Alauda Aeronautics has backed the aerodynamic design of 'Mk.4' as pilot friendly.

Flying cars have emerged as a new concept in the world of vehicle engineering. These cars, designed to operate both on land and air, have multiple advantages, be it ensuring lower emissions and better running efficiency (35% lower carbon footprint than the traditional cars, as cited by American researchers), or avoiding traffic congestion. Transport companies can also use these vehicles as cost-effective deployment options for cargo deliveries.

As per the Allied Market Research report, the global flying car market is expected to be valued at USD 215.54 million in 2025, and will reach USD 3,804.18 million by 2035, registering a CAGR of 34.1%. Europe is expected to be the highest contributor with USD 77.98 million in 2025, and is estimated to reach USD 1,618.68 million by 2035, with a CAGR of 37.8%.

In today’s episode of start-up exploration, International Finance will talk about Alauda Aeronautics, a VTOL aircraft maker from Australia, which is planning to introduce the world’s first crewed flying car race in the Australian desert, thus taking the game to the next level.

Knowing Alauda Aeronautics In Detail

“At Alauda Aeronautics our purpose is to deliver on the dream of flying cars that anyone can own and anyone can fly, to transform transport to become truly sustainable,” the company states on its website.

“We believe in accelerating the development of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles by racing them, which led us to create the Airspeeder Racing Series. As the manufacturer of all the vehicles in the Airspeeder Series, we’re constantly pushing ourselves to develop new and exciting technology that will shape the future of transportation,” it says further.

The company is headed by Matt Pearson, whose LinkedIn profile description reads, “Digitising remote industry with Fleet’s constellation of NanoSatellites and driving electric aviation at Airspeeder with the world’s most exciting racing series.”

Matt Pearson is also the co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of Fleet Space Technologies, another Australian venture which has specialised itself in deploying a constellation of microsatellites, thus providing global coverage and state-of-the-art Edge computing solutions to businesses.

His most notable initiative is Airspeeder, which is the world’s first crewed eVTOL racing championship.

Matt Pearson is a known name in the circuit of space research. He is the current Mission Director of ‘Seven Sisters Mission’, the Australian lunar exploration initiative, under which the country will search for accessible water on the Moon’s surface. He is also the mentor and investor of Moonshot, a global alliance of 40-plus space pioneers.

Decoding Alauda’s Motoring Marvel

Coming back to Alauda, it works on the principle of fusing its expertise in aerospace and motoring sectors to “create the world’s first production electric flying sports cars”. Airspeeder has been the result of this approach. Airspeeder claims itself to be the “world’s first racing series for manned flying electric cars”. It has been partnered with prominent names like Telstra Purple, DHL and Acronis.

Airspeeder’s current pit stop time speed is 55 seconds with two batteries swapped out for rapid charging. The cockpits of these sports cars are furnished with the latest augmented reality to assist the pilot in navigating the mapped courses, which will provide both pilots and the motorsport fans “a unique new digitally projected race series”. Airspeeder’s safety system includes collision-avoidance software, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, autonomous pilot failure safety systems, extra batteries, safety parachute and redundant motors.

Airspeeder’s “MK.4” variant, dubbed as the world’s first electric flying racing car, is the perfect marriage between 1950s Formula 1 car with the futuristic aesthetics of a high-performance eVTOL machine. The vehicle uses carbon-fibre composite technologies to ensure, agility, speed and safety. Alauda has backed the aerodynamic design of “Mk.4” as pilot friendly.

“Latest LIDAR and RADAR create virtual forcefields around the vehicle to deliver close but safe racing. The octocopter layout ensures stability remains in the event of rotor failure,” claims Alauda.

“Terabytes of telemetry and racing operation data will be transmitted instantly to the pit wall and factory. The information is protected by F1 Cyber Protection leaders Acronis,” it adds further.

The vehicle, unveiled in February 2023, has a top speed of 360 kph (225 mph), making it the world’s ‘fastest’ eVTOL aircraft. It will take just 30 seconds to attain top speed from a standing start, due to its sophisticated electric propulsion system, advanced aerodynamics, and take-off weight of 950 kg. A 1,000 kW (1,340 HP) turbo-generator will power the vehicle, apart from ensuring near-zero emissions.

Alauda’s Road Ahead

The start-up is taking a unique approach to promote their products, by hosting a race in which their cars compete against one another in the sky. The company has developed 11 VTOLs after 2016, with MK4 showing glimpses of the future of motorsport.

From 2024, Alauda will continue its promotions by using the VTOL in Airspeeder races that will be broadcast across Australia.

“Right now, the Mk4 costs millions of dollars each, but we don’t see why eventually they can’t be the same price as a Tesla. The expensive thing is not making them. It’s the engineering,” Pearson informed Aljazeera.

Image Credits: Alauda Aeronautics

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