People have been dreaming about flying cars for some time.
Countless science fiction books and films predicted these cars existence one way or another. Regrettably, the only cars available to the public are still on to the ground. There is good news though. The dream of flying cars may be leaching into reality soon, so it might be time to consider recycling those old vehicles to take to the skies.
Where are the Flying Cars?
Those hoping for this kind of transportation are wondering what the hold up is. Mostly, it deals with engineering since automakers have not found a way to inject enough power into cars to make them fly. Another reason cars are not flying has to do with a car’s overall construction, which uses extremely heavy materials that make it hard to take off. All this is finally being overcome, and it is about time.
The Hike Towards Car Flight
One of the groups involved with the creation of flying cars is NASA. Apparently, this outfit is helping create technology that is going to help control air traffic when flying cars are finally manufactured for regular folks. Another outfit that is involved in the creation of flying cars is Uber.
Now, this car-sharing service company is not creating the vehicles but is heavily investing in technology. The first flying car that is both practical and useful was created in China by a company called Terrafugia. China’s Volvo company just purchased this developing company.
Terrafugia took from the old autoplane prototype developed years ago to create this new flying car. The vehicle is not hovering like one might see in science fiction movies but flying like an airplane, using wings. One of the differences from the modern version of this vehicle is that the wings do retract rather than stay put. Retractable wings is part of the reason these vehicles are going to be able to transition between land and air.
Of course, there are a few obstacles associated with this kind of vehicle that still needs to be addressed. For example, noise-level needs to be reduced to ensure a comfortable ride, and safety features need to be put in place. Another aspect that makes flying cars relatively hard to implement into the real world is the need for regulation. Air regulation will be important so that people do not crash into one another. Roadable airplanes will also need landing runaways to make sure people are landing or taking off safely.
In other words, the prototype is here, but there are a few hiccups that need to be addressed before people actually get to fly around the sky.
First Flying Vehicles
The first vehicles that might be seen out and about are point-to-point autonomous airborne vehicles. In essence, what people are going to get is a vehicle that flies from one place to another designated place. This is the reason Uber is investing so much in flying vehicles.
This vehicle is not going to be a car, exactly, but rather a large drone that is going to allow people to hitch a ride. The drones are going to automatically get a person from one place to another without the help of a human navigator.
This is certainly going to make it easier for regular folks to get that helicopter service without spending an arm and a leg to do so.
Terrafugia is definitely concentrating on flying cars rather than giant drones. At the moment, it plans to introduce a folding-wing two-seater to the world in 2019. It also seems to have plans to introduce a practical flying vehicle that can take off and land vertically by 2025.
Some automakers say that one reason engineers are concentrating on this type of travel is congestion. More and more urban cities are suffering from vehicle congestion. It is not unheard of to be in traffic for two hours just to travel a six-mile distance in some cities. Providing airbuses and air taxis should make it easier for people to get to places without facing such crowded conditions.
Some people worry about the kind of impact this change can have on the world. People who transport people or cargo for a living might be out of a job. Some wonder how these vehicles are going to withstand weather conditions, which is definitely a concern. These concerns are real, but no one ever said that progress would not alter the way things are.