Flying Cars In Your City: Arriving Any Minute Now
When 2015 finally arrived a popular refrain from people had was, “Where’s my flying car?” We’ve all seen the film Back to the Future II’s prediction that by then everyone would be able to traverse the skies with relative ease in their DeLorean DMC-12 time machines. Alas, that specific prediction did not come to pass, and we must still muddle around down here on the ground like a bunch of literal low-lives. Or do we?
Even though we’re not living in Blade Runner, another flying car-predicting movie, we can still be hopeful. Flying car experts around the world are hard at work trying to figure out how to make it happen. It’s worth noting that avid theTundra readers will remember our recent “Sorry, But You’ll Never Fly Like the Jetsons” article condemning flying cars to fiction. We thought it would be good to look at the other side of the argument as well.
So what do we need to make flying cars actually happen?
We think that it’s safe to say that people are ready for flying cars. A survey conducted by the University of Michigan about flying cars in 2017 found that that most people were, on average, interested in operating or using a flying car in one manner or another. So we have the desire part down pat.
The next thing we need is the right technology to make it happen. The thing is, however, that we have had the technology since the Wright brothers lurched off the ground and into history almost 120 years ago!
Flying cars are pretty much just an amalgam of airplanes and helicopters. Sure they may not look like the sleek works art that science fiction has promised, but they still fulfill a flying car’s technical requirements and they have existed since the beginning.
The most recent example of just how we’re actually living in the future sci-fi has been promising is the Volocopter Volocity. It looks like a cross between a helicopter and a drone, but it’s perfectly functional and autonomous. It’s undergone several test flights, and the survey mentioned earlier actually found that most people prefer to fly autonomous rather than with a trained professional.
So, we want flying cars and we can definitely have them. What more do we need? That, sadly, is a question for governments and economists. If flying cars do start to become a regular feature in urban and rural life, regular road cars likely won’t go away, and with electrification taking up most manufacturers’ R&D budgets it’s unclear how excited they’d be to spend money on yet another thing. There's also a whole lot of regulation and legislation that still needs to be done by governments on every level to make flying safe and dependable.
The path to real, usable flying cars might be covered with turbulence right now, but some really smart people are working towards making it smoother every day.
Related: The Uber of Air Travel Could be Arriving Soon
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