Let’s Face It — Flying Cars Will Never Be the Norm
Back when I was a kid, people used to love talking about how the future would be full of flying cars. That idea has been out there for much longer though. 'The Jetsons' gave the masses a glimpse of that future way back in 1962, and were almost certainly not the first to suggest the idea.
Technology has brought us further than even the greatest sci-fi minds had imagined possible. I mean, they smashed the computer, telephone, TV, camera, video camera, gaming console, radio, map, calculator, and all knowledge that exists into a single device that fits in our pocket, which is pretty amazing when you stop to think about it. Even with all those advances -- none of us have a flying car in our garage.
Fast forward to the 2019 North American International Auto Show, which is happening right now in Detroit. SureFly's eVTOL (Electrical Vertical Take Off and Landing) octocoper is the talk of town, and not because it looks like the result of a helicopter having sex with a drone. It's being billed as a "flying car" and even inspired The Detroit Free Press (and likely a dozen other outlets) to publish an article with the headline "NAIAS: Is there a flying car in your future?"
Spoiler alert: the answer is no.
Sure, it's an exciting concept, but it's time we stop fooling ourselves. We'll be long dead before they figure out how to make the flying car work in our world. Clearly, the tech is almost there, but that's the easy part. How the hell does traffic work in a world with no roads? Every time I think of it, all I can see is absolute chaos in the sky. I imagine it would always look something like this:
Also. What happens if your flying car stalls or crashes? Does it just fall into someone's house? Are there nets? Could you ever sleep again knowing that there's a 10% chance a car could crash through your roof and smash you? I couldn't.
Sure, those may seem like small things, but I guarantee you that reconstructing the entire concept of personal travel as we know it is no small task. Hell, Michigan hasn't even figured out potholes yet and you think they're going to figure out how to control complex sky traffic patterns without there being any physical boundaries or limitations? Nope.
It's a fun conversation to have when you've got a buzz on, but the flying car is so far out of our reach it's not even worth your time. They're, almost literally, putting the cart before the horse. Making the car is the easy part -- figuring out how it works in the everyday world is the real task... and likely one they won't have a solution for in this lifetime. Maybe next time around.