I Want My Flying Car

from the an-idea-for-the-perpetual-future dept

The flying car is one of those things that falls into the category of "the technology of the future... and it always will be." Over the years we've covered plenty of stories of companies still trying to get into the flying car business. The NY Times has an article checking in on the space, where it notes that, indeed, there are still a bunch of companies that are trying to perfect the flying car, while noting one of the major problems: cars are designed aerodynamically to try to stay on the ground -- airplanes are designed the opposite way. Plenty of people are also quick to point out the other issue: even if you could build a practical flying car... would you want to? The idea of today's drivers having to think in even more dimensions when they seem to have enough trouble on the road isn't encouraging.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Jan Hopmans (profile), Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:00pm

    Unless there is secret unknown way to do this way more energy effecient: No.
    I don't want to contribute to all that waste, cars are bad enough as it is. Why go of the ground? Isn't that waste? 3dimensions might be nice, but think of ALL the energy and efficiency it cost. What is even better about a flying car ride?
    Is there anything I would even want, expect 'it's great.' I can get from point AtoB isn't flying only better because it is 'cool'?

     

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    Jan Hopmans (profile), Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:03pm

    It isn't even practical... =S All I can think of is unpractical and energy waste.

     

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    Paul Brinker, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:15pm

    Dont build a flying car

    Build a damm air plane that can taxi for a really long time and is street legal. (folding wings and a better angle on the road basicly)

    Of course your still going to need a pilots licence and a local licence, and im not sure how custom cars fit with all the regulations (and could get denied just for causing a public distraction)

    but the Thory is good.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:17pm

    so why not remove the over all responsibility of control away from the numb-nut drivers who fail to pass their flying tests and instrument ratings?

     

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    Josh Cough, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:17pm

    Question: If you consider all the time/gas people spend sitting in traffic and how they wouldn't have to in a flying car, do you think flying cars are still far less energy efficient? I'm not sure if there are any numbers on this sort of thing, but its at least something to consider, no?

     

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    clause ludwig, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:23pm

    i think capitalism is the real enemy here, if not why do the Chinese have so much of our money?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:33pm

    Sounds like we need a CCTV camera mounted on a flying smart car, right now. Can not allow these folks to evade the watchful eye just because they can fly.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

    Already Done

    They've had flying cars for years already. They're called helicopters.

     

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    Stray Dog (profile), Apr 13th, 2009 @ 6:43pm

    how about this old idea?

    the cost of an airplane or even one with wings that fold up for road travel is far more expensive than say one with robotic eyes and a computerized brain that may drive itself while we sit and enjoy the ride, doing whatever we want. all we woill need to do is enter the dest we want to hit and enjoy. and with the strides DARPA has been making lately there should be something on the market within the decade. i'm not sure if these links will work, if not just google darpa and you'll see how close we are to having this happen. http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Technology-Article.asp?ArtNum=59 http://www.technovelgy. com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=616 http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News. asp?NewsNum=759

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Way off subject and econ understanding

    Capitalism is not the reason Chinese have so much of our money. Over regulation, too many politicians messing with the market, and economist propping up companies, bail-outs, lawyers, and unions. Not to mention health care for people illegally here, or people that don't have insurance. And the reason for the health care costs and insurance costs is lawyers, people living off the system and too much government involvement. If it was a free-market (capitalist) insurance, where I choose my medical insurance like I do my auto insurance you would see prices drop. And you could keep it with you with or without a job or when you change companies.

    And you wonder why I plan to work overseas, like many friends already have.

     

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    Raybone, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 8:00pm

    Energy problems are solvable

    if the Industrial Complex's suppression of tech that competes with auto/tires/oil could be broken. There is an abundance of free energy available here on earth as Tesla proved many years ago. As soon as Tesla made known his intention to provide free energy to the world, JP Morgan shut him down. Once T. died, the US Gov't confiscated his notes and classified most of his research. One way to achieve a "flying" car would be to use the earth's magnetic field and a centrifugal force design, which interestingly would look like a saucer. The Germans in WW2 knew about this from Tesla designs and we inherited the tech through Operation Paperclip. Other sources of abundant energy could include Electrostatic, Geo-thermal, and Tidal. I would think our money-based economy would have to change to a resource-based economy, though this area is admittedly outside of my field of expertise.

     

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    Paul Brinker, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 8:07pm

    Why would we need Health insurance, right now there is something like a 25% tax on medical providers just to take insurance.

    A free market would say, Cash only, no insurance Thanks. Then insurance companys would have to accecpt claims directly from the person and pay them back instead of the medical provider. Which would be a more fair way to handle it, but insurance hates it because then thay have to staff call centers.

    In addition most insurance companys started in the 50s when life saving systems dident cost as much as thay do now. Insead people got cancer and thay died, now people get cancer and thay get super radiation with tests costing millions and insane amounts of lawsuits for a Dr being human.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 8:07pm

    FUI? Flying Under the Influence

    Scarry!

     

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    Sports Betting Online, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 8:37pm

    The idea is utopic for the following reasons:

    1. The cost of developing a safe flying apparatus of this size will be huge and materials would be extremely expensive. If built with sub-par materials there would be so many lethal crashes that people would stop using them. 3. If it is produced for mass market like regular cars, imagine all the regulations and rules and training needed for average Joe? This is just off the top of my head, I bet there are dozens of other reasons of why this wouldn't work in the nearest future.

     

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    lavi d (profile), Apr 13th, 2009 @ 9:34pm

    Sky Pilots

    It is my fervent hope that people will never be able to pilot their flying cars once they leave the road for the sky.

    Actually, I eagerly anticipate the day when most people are forced to give over control of even their purely terrestrial vehicles to sophisticated, on-board electronics.

     

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    techno freak, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 9:48pm

    flying cars - flying pigs

    Bluntly given the lengths that people have gone to, to ensure that this planet continues to rely on mineral sludge the very least those same people can do is come up with a transport method that does not require billions spent on roads - oh sorry I forgot oil is used to make tyres - silly me......

     

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    Kilgore Trout, Apr 13th, 2009 @ 10:11pm

    Wow

    All the crazies come out at night...

     

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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Apr 14th, 2009 @ 2:33am

    Automation is the key

    The time will come when cars, rather flying or not are totally under computer control. This addresses many of the issues. Also, closed loop control of a flying vehicle would likely be necessary for stability reasons.

    Probably the single biggest threat to humanity is excessive reproductive rates. If we bring our numbers under control it will also address issues like energy availability.

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.PatentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (810) 597-0194 / (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 8 pm EST.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 6:05am

    Re: how about this old idea?

    It'd be difficult to get that tech within the decade. The overhaul of the current infrastructure to ensure all those robotic cars can deal with every road out there would be ridiculous. Plus, you'll have to deal with a mix of robotic and human driven cars for awhile. You can't just make people give up their cars and get robotic ones. Either you have to subsidize robotic cars and give deadlines (like with the digital cable switchover... and look how that turned out) for human driven cars to be off the road.

    it'll be extremely difficult and these hurdles will definitely push back that tech for awhile.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 6:08am

    Re: Energy problems are solvable

    geothermal and tidal energy tech already exists and no, they're not that efficient. Propulsion using the earth's magnetic field also exists and no, it doesn't look like a flying saucer. Magnetic propulsion allows for tech that gives thrust with no moving parts and allows for the "rocket in a briefcase" scenario. However, its nowhere near being economically justifiable at this point.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 6:10am

    Re: The idea is utopic for the following reasons:

    What happened to 2?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    Re:

    For longer trips it would be more efficient because you wouldn't have to wind down the roads. That being said, I'd like to see flying taxi's emerge. That reduces the cost of flying, limits who can fly, and at least in some part mitigates the jerks who just want it to be 'cool.'

     

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    Dwight Schrute, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 7:59am

    The answer to your query

    Question:
    I Want My Flying Car.

    Answer:
    In due time.

     

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    TheStuipdOne, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 10:19am

    Re: Dont build a flying car

    This is being done and seems pretty reasonable ... can't remember the name of the company right now and I'm too lazy to search for it.

     

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    hegemon13, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    Yes, the energy to get a vehicle into the air and keep it their would be far more than all of the gains by avoiding idling and comparatively inefficient road routes. Airplanes are extremely light and flimsy. They do not hold up at all in collisions. Street vehicles require a safety rating, which makes them heavy, and that means even more energy to keep them aloft.

    In the end, I don't think we will see flying cars because the benefits just aren't high enough, especially compared to the costs. Vehicles would be very expensive. Fuel cost would be much higher. And, most importantly, fatality accidents would skyrocket. I think we're much more likely to see many-tiered roadways than flying vehicles.

     

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    Easily Amused, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re: Automation is the key

    I always chuckle when someone says they are "Speaking only on my own behalf", and then list all of their organizations.
    If you are speaking just for yourself, WE DON'T GIVE A SHIT about your affiliations....

     

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    Raybone, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 11:57am

    Re Re: Energy problems are solvable

    @ 20. I am a sound engineer,not a mechanical engineer, but couldn't those inefficiencies be solvable? The field certainly peaks my interest and there are certainly engineers working on this

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5402021.html

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/electromagnetic-propulsion.htm

    Also an interesting read is "How to Build A Flying Saucer And Other Proposals in Speculative Engineering" by T.B. Pawlicki

    It gives a logical explanation for the reason for the saucer shape and the behavior and physical characteristics witnessed and filmed by those who have encountered UFOs.

    Yeah, yeah, I get it. I must be a nut-job for having an open mind. Please note that I only refer to the "possibilities" not the facts of anything. I am still but a learner.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2009 @ 6:17pm

    Who remembers...

    the flying car in the James Bond movie "The Man with the Golden Gun"? The car was nominally piloted by Christopher Lee.

     

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    Aaron Robinson, Mar 11th, 2010 @ 6:41pm

    there is a flying car

    There is a flying car out there all ready....a hovercraft why not just build on from that?

     

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