Ford and the University of Michigan undertook a study to see just how efficient vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles would be when compared to both internal combustion cars and electric cars. From a report: The study found that these flying electric vehicles, while not suitable for short commutes, could play a “niche role in sustainable mobility for longer trips.” Flying cars could also be valuable mobility options for congested cities as part of a ride-share taxi service, according to the study published Tuesday in Nature Communications. “With these VTOLs, there is an opportunity to mutually align the sustainability and business cases,” Akshat Kasliwal, one of the authors of the study and a grad student at the School for Environment and Sustainability, said in a statement. “Not only is high passenger occupancy better for emissions, it also favors the economics of flying cars. Further, consumers could be incentivized to share trips, given the significant time savings from flying versus driving.” The sustainability study, the first ever conducted for flying cars, comes as the automotive industry at large is focused heavily on autonomous and electric vehicles. Much of this focus is driven by emission regulation and a need to alleviate growing congestion problems in dense urban areas.