Flying cars have been a long-running sci-fi concept, but in reality, the car has remained on the ground, but perhaps this will soon change.

Flying cars featured in the 1997 Luc Besson film ‘The Fifth Element’.

The aircraft and helicopter manufacturer Airbus now hope to get a car-like vehicle up in the air before the end of the year.

The company formed a division called Urban Air Mobility last year. Its aim is to explore different concepts for urban transport vehicles in the air.

Such as a vehicle to transport sole individuals or a helicopter-style vehicle that can carry multiple passengers. A mix between a car and a helicopter that would usher in what amounts to ’the future of public transport’. Or, as the name of the company suggests, a bus in the air.

The idea would be for people to book the vehicle using an app, similar to car-sharing schemes. Think, Uber in the air with self driving/flying vehicles.

“One hundred years ago, urban transport went underground, now we have the technological wherewithal to go above ground,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders told Reuters at the DLD digital tech conference in Munich, adding he hoped the Airbus could fly a demonstration vehicle for single-person transport by the end of the year.

The technology is still in its infancy, but Tom Enders assures that they take the development seriously and that there is much to gain from flying city traffic.

“With the air, you need not spend billions on concrete bridges or roads,” Enders said.

Exactly how much the company invested in technology has not been published, but according to Tom Enders, they are open to incorporate both AI and driverless technology in the project.

“If we ignore these developments, we will be pushed out of important segments of the business,” he adds.