Massachusetts Patent of the Month – August 2021

Terrafugia, Inc. has been working on revolutionizing transportation with a flying car. Their design for a land-air vehicle would aim to make flight an everyday transportation option. However, the gear shift is different between cars and planes. A car typically has a gear shift lever which controls between park, reverse, neutral, drive, low gear and so on. Terrafugia has developed a method that works for dual-mode flying and driving vehicles. 

The shifter remains lever style, with the standard automobile gear shift positions. It has additional positions for use in the air. When shifted from the automobile position to the flight position, which has “fly”, “up, or “down” positions. The design of the gear shift allows for transition between the two driving mechanisms, allowing the vehicle to be controlled without the driver needing to switch between different gear shifts. Designs like this are integral to creating a readily controlled dual mode vehicle and show the progress being made by Terrafugia to bring this form of transportation to our everyday lives.

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