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Terrafugia Transition flying car going on sale next year

It'll have a lithium-powered hybrid system, other upgrades

Those flying cars we've been waiting for since "The Jetsons" first aired are right around the corner. Earlier this week, we got news that the BlackFly personal aerial vehicle aims to go on sale next year. Workhorse Group's SureFly looks promising, with a hybrid electric flight system and redundant safety features. Even Uber, Daimler, Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce and others have their own flying car and air taxi ambitions. Terrafugia has been working on its Transition flying car for years — and we say car in this case because this one actually has road-going capabilities. According to the company, the Transition has plans to begin production in 2019. Terrafugia has announced new features as well.

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The next batch of test vehicles gets some valuable upgrades, including a hybrid mode that uses a lithium-iron-phosphate battery. A "boost" feature gives the Transition a brief surge of extra power when flying, which will surely be helpful for overtaking in crowded skies (we're winking, if you can't tell).

The remodeled interior gets better seats, a new user interface and more cargo space, along with improved seatbelts and airbags. On the road, it'll use a three-camera system for a better view out the rear of the car.

Terrafugia has also announced that it has partnered with new suppliers. It's working with Dynon to source its electric flight information systems, and BRS for a full-frame parachute system. Terrafugia says the Transition will comply with both Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA) and National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety rules.

Following the Transition, Terrafugia — which is owned by Volvo's parent company Geely — is planning a vertical-takeoff-and-landing ( VTOL) aircraft called the TF-2.

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