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Flying cars. Where the heck are they??

flying cars transport cars vehicles

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7 replies to this topic

#1
Dead Redshirt

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The 50's and 60's are a time where I think I'd describe as future hopeful. Lots of futuristic designs and thoughts about what the future would look like came from this era. One of the most common thoughts about the future from this era was that we'd have flying cars, to the point that I think people had started to expect that we'd have them by now. I remember sometime in the 80's taking books about the future out from the library, ones that painted futuristic visions, many of them including flying cars. Some of the technology might seem a little dated now, however. Of course, there are the Jetsons. I think this how most people were introduced to flying cars, and probably what designers are hoping to achieve one day. Then there are the flying cars from movies such as Blade Runner, Fifth Element and of course, Back to the Future. The 2015 from Back to the Future is also one that we often look at and want their cars. There's one guy who's been designing a flying car for at least 15 years or more now, the Moller Skycar, I think it is, but I don't think there's been much progress in those year. Because honestly, I think there's a lot of baggage that goes along into making the flying car a reality, such as flying lanes to think about and we have enough trouble with air traffic control as it is.
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My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton - 1950 - 2011

#2
Chronomaster

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Well, I think the only way it would ever seriously be allowed to 'take off' into the mainstream is when a human isn't responsible for flying the thing. I think GPS technology is well on the way to becoming accurate enough to maintain so called 'flying lanes' - and we're already seeing basic radar/detection technologies built into road cars to prevent collisions and the like. If small personal flying vehicles that anyone can take off in and fly anywhere to without an airport ever do become a feasible reality, I imagine we'll have plenty of technologies by then to ensure they're safe in terms of preventing accidents. I don't put much stock in existing flight technologies to get the 'flying car' concept off the ground, the idea of a small two seat craft with four huge rotating turbofans fastened onto each corner is still a bit wacky...
Counting down...

#3
Dead Redshirt

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Yeah, that's very true. I think you're spot on. It often happens with technology in general, to have a technology developed that doesn't match our perception of what it's supposed to look like even though it might even be more advanced than the futuristic portrayal. Funny how that goes. It also depends on how fast we develop technologies and what becomes available to us to make these things possible. So, we might eventually have our flying car, but it might not evoke the flying car memories of the past.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton - 1950 - 2011

#4
CamGoldenGun

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The FAA will be implementing the start of what will be a more crowded sky with their new Air Traffic Control System. http://www.faa.gov/n...cfm?newsId=8768 Reading an article in a Popular Science magazine a few years ago (and I'm really paraphrasing) the new system will effectively eliminate the need for passenger planes to sit in routine holding patterns while the runway is clear for them to land. I think we'll need to master ground-transportation and a few more designs to aircraft before we can create virtual "skylanes" though. These "flying cars" will need to have the ability to hover, stop on a dime and be able to "corner" around buildings overtop of existing infrastructure.

#5
Dead Redshirt

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Yep, I definitely agree. There needs to be a degree of safety involved before we can even consider them. Heck, I think there's enough trouble already with planes that the airways don't need more confusion.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton - 1950 - 2011

#6
Caiman

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I don’t see it happening until a viable alternative fuel source is created, otherwise all we’re going to have are glorified light aircraft which still require take off/landing strips. That coupled with what I believe is a necessity for automation (as discussed above) makes me think that while we will see a shift to the skies in terms of personal and mass transit, it’s still a while off yet- probably when a convergence of technologies occur which practically remove all necessity for the occupant of such a vehicle to do anything but sit in it until they reach their destination.
~Jon

#7
Dead Redshirt

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Very true and good points. Likely, one way to do it would be to use similar automated systems for the highways where vehicles operate as clusters.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton - 1950 - 2011

#8
Mentat

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You don't need flying cars...but you will need a different kind of softwarrrre...
"You lot. You spend all your time thinking about dying, like you're going to get killed by eggs, or beef, or global warming, or asteroids. But you never take time to imagine the impossible: that maybe you survive." - Doctor Who, "The End of the World"





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