Monday 5 December 2016 11:55 am

This European flying car maker just raised €10m in VC money

We may live in a world of talking virtual assistants, contactless payments and a world of knowledge in our pockets – but we won't truly be in the future until cars can fly.

Pleasingly, though, flying cars came a step closer today, after a German company trying to develop a pint-sized plane raised €10m in VC funding.

Munich-based Lilium Aviation raised the cash from London-based VC firm Atomico to create the hatchback-sized two-man plane, aimed to be an alternative to helicopters for commuters who have no patience for traffic jams.

The plane is capable of vertical take-off and landing. The idea is it can take passengers into the "heart" of towns and cities, without the need for expensive airport infrastructure (and, presumably, the lure of duty-free shopping). 

Read more: Flying cars? Uber's working on it

“A personal vertical take-off and landing aircraft has been the dream of generations. It is the ultimate means of transportation," said chief executive Daniel Wiegand.

"With our technology we can triple the radius of people’s lives while preserving our environment, avoiding congestion and eliminating the cost of infrastructure. We can also flexibly connect whole states to single metropolitan areas."

Niklas Zennström, the founder of Atomico, added that the plane is a "once-in-a-generation transformative technology" that will have "a seismic, positive impact on the world for generations to come". 

"We know that cities are congested, aviation and travel pollute the environment and people waste time when they should be able to move around easily. These are the great challenges of our time and Lilium is determined to solve them."

Read more: The Jetsons' flying car just came a step closer to reality