5 Reasons Why We Still Do Not Have Flying Cars Everywhere
5 Reasons Why We Still Do Not Have Flying Cars Everywhere
The robotization of cars literally conquered the world. Experts predict that somewhere by 2030 the cars will be fully under computer control. A person can manage his car if he wants, but there will be no such need. Well, what about flying cars? Here, too, there are some changes. For example, Uber is going to develop its own vehicle by 2020.
Now, this is not the only company that deals with such a project. But how realistic are these plans? Perhaps this is just a marketing HYIP? For many of us, a flying car is a synonym for the future, like food in tablets and silvery clothes. So will the dreams of many about flying cars be realized? Let’s review the top 5 reasons why we don’t still have flying cars everywhere.
1. The concept
The classic idea of a flying car is, in fact, a machine that somehow can be in the air.
Ian Fleming was a well-known fan of the idea of flying cars, he mentioned them in his 1963 novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He also used the idea of a flying car in one of the novels about James Bond in 1964, the same machine appeared in “The Man with the Golden Gun” movie. The basic idea is simple — it's a car with wings, which can drive on common roads, but if necessary climbs into the air.
Writers and science fiction movies editors often used the flying cars concepts. In some works, this idea was transformed into flying scooters, when roads are not needed at all. On one of these scooters, Anakin Skywalker flew in the “Attack of the Clones” movie.
Clearly, there are other concepts of such devices, including antigravity scooters. Now various companies realize the original idea of a flying car, creating hybrids of cars and aircraft, cars and helicopters, cars and drones.
In general, any small aircraft can be called a flying car. But this is only a kind of flying machines, not cars.
Any passenger of this car wants to know everything about his safety. The likely answer is "not too safe", as the technology is still being developed. The companies are working to make their vehicles safe, hoping to get approval from regulatory bodies and governments of different countries.
But, of course, security schemes are different here, they are different from what we are used to seeing in a car. For example, the machine can be stopped in case of a problem. Well, with an aircraft this cannot be done — it just falls down. And the accident threatens the life and health of not only those who are inside the cabin but also those who are below.
In order to avoid the problem of falling, the Chinese company Ehang proposes to equip its flying taxi in Dubai with a parachute. This service, in particular, offers the transportation of passengers from the roof of one skyscraper to the roof of another.
True, it is not clear how the system operates with a parachute. After all, the aircraft does not have a parachute control system.
In ordinary aircraft, most flight tasks are automated. They say that the pilots are responsible, basically, for takeoff and landing. But in aircraft, the security systems are repeatedly duplicated. There are many of them. In a mini aircraft, they can be difficult to implement.
On the other hand, mini aircraft are less complicated than business jets, so it is easier to take off, fly and land with them.
Now some companies have begun to promote the idea of electric turbines. As an example, you can bring a flying machine from Lilium, a relatively new start-up. Using the electric motors instead of conventional ICEs leads to a simpler device design. Also, there is a possibility to duplicate the motors — if any of them breaks down, another will start working.
In general, we can say for sure that companies developing such aircraft will achieve their goal and make them safe.
3. Speed and range
The advantages of airplanes are undeniable. No traffic jams, traffic lights, and other things greatly simplify the life of the driver or the pilot.
In addition, flying in a straight line is not the same as driving along the road with all its bends. Even if the vehicle does not fly very fast, the travel time is reduced by several times.
Probably, if flying cars become widespread, then the authorities will create something like air corridors. Assume that such corridors will pass through safe terrain, where there are no or few people. So the accident will not cause significant consequences for human victims.
And even in a big city, the car will cover several tens of kilometers in a few minutes.
4. Technical limitations
There are several quite complex problems that are worth remembering when implementing the idea of flying cars, but some of them only seem complicated.
For example, in three-dimensional space, when you can move not only left-right and back-to-back, but also up and down, it is much easier to navigate.
Even if there are many flying cars, several hundred meters in height as a permitted corridor is enough to fly over the neighbors. Plus, the authorities do not need to worry about creating a transport infrastructure. No signs, no traffic lights, nothing. They will only need to build the appropriate landing sites, and some of them will not be different from modern helicopter ones, which are placed on the roofs of skyscrapers.
It is too early to talk about the price. There are a lot of ambiguities with regulators, with security, infrastructure, charging or refueling stations. We can only guess how much it can be.
But you do not need to forget that a flying car is an expensive pleasure. Uber which promises to release a flying taxi by 2020, operates in many cases at a loss. The company is trying to attract customers by cheap travel. And it works. The profit is very small, but the company plans to solve this problem by creating the robotic taxis that do not need the salaries. If flying cars will work on the same principle, then making a profit is a very real task.
Will passengers pay for reducing the travel time from point A to point B? Probably yes.
Now there is too much uncertainty, so it's hard to say when the flying car will become a reality. Most likely, when they become more or less mass, they will be used in a number of niches, not everywhere. And only later they will become more universal.
But this will not happen soon. Probably, many of us will wear silver suits and get the newest food in the form of tablets even before flying cars become a mass phenomenon.