Part of Aerofex's effort to make Aero-X more user-friendly meant having the onboard computer throttling back on the vehicle's performance, so that human riders don't end up soaring too high or flying too fast. The company has also included a rollover bar to protect the riders in case of a crash, and is considering the possibility of a full-vehicle airbag system.
"If we can't make it safe, we won't sell it," De Roche says.
Restrictions on the Aero-X's future performance also ensure that users don't have to deal with too much red tape from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. By consulting with the FAA, Aerofex discovered that it could avoid the need for pilot licenses by limiting the vehicle's altitude to about 3.7 meters. That makes the vehicle more of an "aerial ATV," De Roche explains.
Individual U.S. states have other regulations, but for the most part a person riding the Aero-X around on their own private property -- such as the wheat fields of a family-owned farm -- should encounter no legal problems. Still, De Roche says he would actually prefer to be regulated by the FAA rather than operate in what he called a legal grey area.