Watch this demo of a flying car, future almost here

If most of the traffic is automated (and the non-automated air traffic is well regulated, like currently), it gets easy, even with enormous amount of traffic. Most optimal flight paths would probably look like “everyone flying in all directions, including up and down”, though it can be done safely, and algorithms aren’t even that difficult. Obviously the amount of noise would be unacceptable.
Look at the current state of autopilot systems in fixed wing aircraft. Modern autopilot can fully autonomously take off, reach destination and land, even in bad weather. The multirotor flight physics is way simpler than fixed plane, so there are no serious problems from the software perspective.

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I believe this is the feeling the video was aiming for; not sure they achieved it…


The thing can get one adult human maybe 10 feet off the ground. Doesn’t seem likely it is going to have the lift capacity to do much against a major forest fire even if you took the human off and piloted it remotely.

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It wouldn’t be much use against forest fires, but drones tethered with hoses and power cords do have potential for certain urban firefighting scenarios where hook-and-ladder rigs can’t reach high enough.

But the flying firemen are probably more entertaining:

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I can’t wait for the road/sky-rage incidents… will be like dog fights in WWI.

I’m also gonna say that the TSA and other agencies might frown on having eight exposed rotating blades like that. They make bending hood ornaments for a reason. I witnessed a guy getting struck by a Cessna prop… he lived… if you call his existence living…

There’s people who aren’t capable of filling their own tanks (“I don’t know how gas pumps work.”) … the idea of them in flying food processors … yikes.

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You beat me to it: having exposed blades is just crazy. Accidents aside, any object touching one of them would instantly become a bullet, and a big enough one would turn into more bullets the smashed blade pieces as well.

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I’ll just stick to my personal kite conveyance, thank you.

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The future, IT BURNS!!!

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We’ve had “flying cars” for decades, but the public won’t be ready until tech outsmarts weather risks and driver error. And even then, city traffic will likely look like the opening credit animation to “Futurama.”

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we have flying cars already, they’re called “helicopters”

there is no technological obstacle to everybody owning one, but it would make no economic sense

Ugh, crash and probably burn. Can’t imagine that pilot/driver emerged from that okay.

image

Sigh …

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Flying in a vehicle surrounded by whirling blades. How could it possibly go wrong?

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Hovering in ground-effect for ten minutes is not flying, and completely useless. There are amateurs that have built similar devices and done as well. This looks cooler, anyway.

What? Like this?

Everyone else has well-covered all the obvious safety, logistical, and legal problems with the idea of flying cars, so I’ll just add the one nobody ever seems to talk about: efficiency.

Flying cars are massively inefficient, and it will likely never make sense to waste 10x the energy just to drive 20 feet off the deck instead of on it. The only reason we build flying things is when speed is paramount (military and commercial air travel) or the need can’t be handled any other way (helicopters).

If your goal is to improve traffic, build public transit. If your goal is to free up the ground, build tunnels and causeways. If your goal is to increase car density, look to the movie I, Robot for a more practical approach.

The point is, whatever problem people think they are solving with flying cars, there’s always a way more efficient option. There is no problem for which flying cars are a good solution. They’re bad cars and bad aircraft.

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