Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by varek, May 8, 2014.
Finally! The flying car may be soon becoming a reality!
They say it's not a car that flies - more like a plane that drives. So I don't really see the point of all of this. Most drivers expect a car, just like the ones we drive today, but one that flies (like the ones in The Fifth Element). If they can't have that, the general public won't go for this.
Flying cars are never gonna happen, but not for technical reasons. Simply for safety reasons.
I'm much more interested in self-driving cars than I am in flying cars.
I think it's more a liability thing. The lawyers would be salivating over this.
I mean, think about it. If a flying car goes wrong and crashes into something or someone, who's responsible? The pilot? Flying cars would certainly be controlled by a central computer, so there'd be no pilot as we understand it. So who IS liable? The designer of the car? The programmer of the system? The legal red tape would choke to death any actual useability of the system.
And in the end, that's just as well, IMHO. I could live without the constant fear of a flying car crashing into my house, my car, my self, etc. At least with existing cars, the system of roads helps to put a bit of a buffer on it. If a car goes off the road, it will probably hit the curb and flip over - there may be some, but not a lot of, likelihood that it will hit me or my home. But with a FLYING car? There's no defense against that.
If terrorists had flying cars, you'd have 9/11 events daily.
^ Ain't that the truth.
I admit my views on this are influenced by the fact that I really don't like to drive and that I am a total mass transit obsessed geek. If there was a real, universal, realistic "personal rapid transit" system which could completely replace the car, I'd embrace it.
I mean, think about it: wouldn't it be a lot easier if you could just step outside your front door and have a PRT cab immediately ready for you, whenever you wanted it, and it could take you straight to your destination without any need to wait for it? Much easier than a car, of course. And PRT would still be controlled by a central computer system (as any "flying car" system would), but it would be much safer, I would think, since it wouldn't fly - it would only move over predetermined layouts of tracks.
And since all PRT vehicles would be owned and maintained by a central authority, which would inspect them regularly (and protect their computer system against hackers), the danger of terrorist attacks would be much less.
We will never having flying cars until they can fly themselves. The average person is a bad enough driver, it's stupid to put them in control of a vehicle in which a crash means certain death. The first flying cars will not be around until we have had self driving cars for a while, and the flying will be controlled by a computer.
A workable PRT system would be great -- as an adjunct or an alternative to the personal automobile, not a replacement for it.
I like driving.
As much as I would want flying cars, I'll have to say no. People have enough trouble navigating their vehicles in two dimensional environment.
At some point insurance costs will probably force most people with cars towards self-driving models. I also think they'll become very popular with older people who have difficulty driving but want to maintain the freedom an automobile provides them.
The risks posed by flying cars will far outweigh any demand, IMO.
Exactly why I said it won't be until computers can fly them, removing the human error component.
Yeah, I see "this" http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/09/travel/unmanned-drone-danger/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 happening many times with flying cars.
Especially cars flown "under the influence".
You mean like aircraft? And spacecraft? Those will never happen for safety reasons?
^ The difference is, both of those things aren't exactly accessible to the general public. And they must be crewed by trained professionals.
Flying cars will not solve traffic problems, if that is the aim. Throughout history, traffic always expands to overload the available roadways. Ancient Rome had passes for merchants licensed to enter the city and daily schedules.
The real reason we have traffic is because people need to be somewhere—to do a job, to pick up supplies, etc. The next step is finding other ways for people to do jobs without the massive commutes every day. Some people will always have to travel, but "telecommuting" and telepresence may become more common and accepted. Some new method may be found for distributing needed supplies and goods. Perhaps 3D printing and other forms of rapid prototyping will overtake conventional mass manufacture and distribution?
The above developments might even be the end of cities, as we know them. And what happens after that?
I disagree. I think if you had flying cars, your roads wouldn't be so crowded, but could still be used. And, you wouldn't be snowbound or trapped by a flood, if you can fly up and over any obstacles.
I would love to live in a Jetson-like world. And, in the early Star Wars sagas, there seems to be steady streams of aerial traffic flying by at all hours of the day and night, but in an orderly way.
I just hate having to crawl along on the ground, when you have the whole sky open above you!
^ Time to start investing, then, Varek. Don't wait for someone else to do it. If you really believe flying cars will "solve" all our traffic problems, then put your money into it.
Ah, but all those require people to go through rigorous training and operate with air traffic control etc to work. I can't see that working with the thousands of cars on the road for the morning commute. Would you really want to deal with 20,000 request to change lanes in order to overtake?
I have to agree with this. Some sort of PRT system could replace a lot of driving, but there are other things people drive for that wouldn't work so well with only a PRT system. For example, I think of the shed I built in my back yard and bringing home the materials for it, or when I brought home the old tractor tires I got from someone else for my kids to climb on, or when I borrowed my neighbors tiller, or my upcoming replacement of my roof and siding on my house, or visiting my parents and other friends who live way out in the boonies, or camping trips. You get the idea. Personally, I fairly regularly make trips where I need to haul a lot of stuff or go places that PRT wouldn't go. A PRT system that could completely replace driving would have to be able to go ANYWHERE, including off-road/wilderness areas and be able to haul fairly large loads. For regular trips to work, or shopping in areas of moderate to high population density, sure, I can see it working just fine. A PRT system could replace maybe 75% or so of driving, but to replace that last 25% would require a much bigger, more robust, and more complex system.
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