As crazy as it may sound, flying cars now exist! They actually have for quite some time, as is evident in this compilation video called “5 Real Flying Cars That Actually Fly”. The only issue with these vehicles, however, is they lack the ease in takeoff that the more modern, drone-like flying cars have.
In December of 2015, engineering students at the National University of Singapore presented Snowstorm, a personal flying machine. And from all appearances, it seems to be one of the firsts, if not THE first.
Later, in January of 2017, a Chinese company called Ehang showed off the 184, which supposedly happens to be “the world’s first autonomous aerial vehicle”—lots of big words in there, like “autonomous aerial vehicle” that most probably make their statement true.
An autonomous vehicle is one that can drive itself from a starting point to a predetermined destination in “autopilot” mode using various in-vehicle technologies and sensors, including adaptive cruise control, active steering (steer by wire), anti-lock braking systems (brake by wire), GPS navigation technology, lasers and radar.
–Gartner IT Glossary > Autonomous Vehicles
Ehang has also created this video explaining its heritage, which affirms that plans for the 184 project were underway in 2014.
There’s also a handful of other flying cars, some in design mode, some ready to go; so honestly, how nuts is it to think that flying cars could become a reality in the next 50 years. Look at how the invention of the internet swept the world by storm. Could flying cars change the layouts of city structures, urban planning, population control? I’d say there is that possibility (wouldn’t say probability… yet).
Of course, there are Safety Issues:
- What happens if the flying car has engine trouble?
- What prevents flying cars from colliding into one another?
- Where is it legal to fly a car?
- Are there defined flight paths/routes?
- What prevents someone from shooting down a flying car?
… and rightly so, but other such developing technologies as self-driving cars, could resolve the problems involved with personal flying machines—preventing collisions and defining routes. Therefore, you should NOT go bashing the idea of personal flying vehicles, nor the possibilities that could extend from the concept..
Worried about the propellers going out? Well, there’s tech to resolve that too!
Slowly but surely, the “if”s will be met with what we hope are “we’ve found a solution for that.”
Those who turn the craziest ideas into realities are the ones who pull key pins in the web of humanity’s growth. So how many other creations could spur as a result of personal flying mobile transport becoming a reality?