South Florida company believes they have the transportation solution to traffic troubles

Doroni Aerospace expects to launch electric aircraft in 2024

MIAMI – Miami is one of the top 10 North American cities with the highest traffic delay times, according to the latest inrix global traffic scorecard.

As the city continues to increase in population, many are wondering if the problem will ever be alleviated.

In Local 10 News’ latest Technically Speaking report, anchor Gio Insignares introduces us to a South Florida company that thinks it might solve our traffic troubles.

We’ve seen the growth of drones and autonomous vehicles, but this next step in transportation isn’t that far away, and it promises to change how we get to and from our destinations by not just leaving the ground but putting the power in your own hands.

Doron Merdinger is the CEO and founder of Doroni Aerospace, a South Florida-based company looking to shift our relationship with transportation.

Created in 2016, the company specializes in the “eVTOL” aircraft, which stands for electric vertical takeoff and landing.

This isn’t exactly a new concept as many companies are working on their own versions in an attempt to conquer the air.

Doroni Aerospace says the goal is to provide safe, easy-to-use and environmentally friendly flying cars that are accessible to anyone.

Merdinger believes that nature doesn’t have to be destroyed when a system that doesn’t require roads, doesn’t pollute and doesn’t make noise at that level can be introduced.

Merdinger doesn’t define the aircraft as a taxi, or an Uber but as a personal means of transportation that anyone would be able to operate.

He claims it takes the complexity out of flying.

Merdinger says the Doroni H1 is the flagship product that embodies the company’s mission as the vehicle to usher in this new era of easier travel.

“We believe that it will be a gradual change,” he said. “We might be a niche player at the beginning, but eventually (it) will be one of the main forms of transportation.”

Merdinger believes that the future is here and now.

“I can tell you 100% that (the) technology for all we’re doing is here now. It’s not in the future, it’s here,” he says. “It’s just a matter of putting it together as a good package.”

As a former member of the Israeli Air Force, Merdinger spent a lot of time familiarizing himself with drones and similar technology.

The range of Doroni’s eVTOL flying car isn’t quite to infinity and beyond, but it does highlight a possibility for radical impact simply by occupying a previously unoccupied space.

Doroni Aerospace says that by using the flying car, people will get to their destination much faster.

“This could lead us in a different level than we understand,” said Merdinger. “We’ll experience nature better. It will be safer, quieter and more efficient-- so everything is different.”

Insignares got a first-hand look as he stepped inside the cockpit of the Doroni’s H1 cockpit and with the help of a virtual reality headset, he was able to get a turn at the flight experience, simulating what it would look and feel like.

Two seats make up the eVTOL and the aircraft is equipped with mirrored joysticks so that you can control things with either hand.

The dashboard displays everything needed from takeoff to landing including engine start, cameras, lights and ventilation.

Despite some bumps in the figurative road, the system is easy to use and understand.

Eventually, in order to drive these vehicles, customers will need a current valid driver’s license and completion of a 20-hour training course provided by the company.

It all adds up to a bold declaration made by someone who insists this company, and its journey will reap the benefits of years of hard work.

“We feel that we are really at the pinnacle of changing and making history, bringing something that is a true gift because we are going to affect not just traveling--it’s going to affect time and space as we understand it,” said Merdinger.

The company expects to have a flying H1 eVTOL prototype that is fully functional and completed soon.

The aircraft also needs certification by the Florida Aviation Administration before it’s allowed to fly, but the plan is to have a complete product launch in the second half of 2024.

About the Author:

Gio Insignares joined the Local 10 News team in May 2021 as an anchor and reporter. He’ll be co-anchoring the new WSFL Morning Newscast, Monday-Friday from 7-9 a.m., and also contribute to other WPLG newscasts.