Along with the jetpack, the flying car tops the list of classic science-fiction ideas.
Now researchers, with some cash from the U.S. military, might be taking a step toward making these hovering vehicles - seen in such varied works as "Blade Runner" and "The Jetsons" -- a reality.
DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is awarding grants to scientists to assist develop its Transformer program, which seeks to create a road-worthy vehicle that can take off upright like a helicopter and fly.
This week, the robotics institute at Carnegie Mellon University was awarded a $988,000 contract to expand a flight system for the Transformer.
The vehicle DARPA is considering would be able to carry four troops and up to 1,000 pounds of utensils for 250 miles, either on land or through the air.
"Its improved mobility would increase survivability by making movements less predictable and would make the vehicle suitable for a wide variety of missions, such as scouting, resupply and medical evacuation," Carnegie Mellon said in a written release.
The Carnegie Mellon prototype follows the latest news that a Florida man built a flying car Video that was certified by the FAA.