Welcome to the future, where cars will fly
In August 2010, china went through a hilarious traffic jam crisis. According to reports, the traffic jam lasted for 12 days. Imagine being stuck in traffic for 12 straight days, even the most patient person would go mad in that chaos. The ‘what ifs’ crossing their mind would be innumerable. The one ‘what if’ would surely be ‘What if I could fly ‘. Traffic concerns everybody. Flying has been one of the fantasies for humans. From Alladin’s magic carpet to fairies, all they could wish was real. Learning from their imagination human has started creating their reality. Technologies new contribution is a flying car. Nearly 80 years ago, automotive pioneer Henry Ford wrote: “A combination airplane and motor car is coming.” Building a flying car is not an easy task but humans have seemed to achieve it. The flying drone and navigation technology, combined with increasing traveling problems, have begun changing people’s perspective and made them believe in the impossible.
Studies prove that these futuristic cars will be good for traveling as well as good for the environment. It is not an eco-friendly car, but the carbon emission is less as compared to the cars we use now. These flying cars are officially described as vertical take-off and landing aircraft, or VTOLs. The cars would not be here for a few more years but the engineers have a pretty good idea about how to operate.
If the cars would adopt VTOL mechanism, they would begin their flight by rising vertically in the air for about 1,000 feet like a helicopter. Once the cruising altitude is achieved the cars can fly for about 150 miles per hour. When it’s time to land the process would be vertical as well. VTOL can get in and out of spaces and it is estimated that it would require a space of about for buses parked side by side.
VTOL vs Pollution
According to scientists, the world needs to cut down hazardous chemical emissions. Considering the climate change, if the emission rates remain the same it would worsen the conditions. The carbon emission needs to be nearly zero by 2050 or we have to be ready for the crisis.
The transportation system is a big part of the emission cycle. U.S. Environmental reports say that transportation is responsible for 28% of greenhouse gas emissions, and 60% of those emissions come from light-duty vehicles like cars.
The scientist worked on many scenarios to accomplish the goal of a successful flying car project. After the data analysis, the scientist’s conclusion led to that the flying car was 52% cleaner than the regular car and 6%cleaner than an electric car. The key responsibility of a flying car is to spend enough time in the air and carry enough passengers. However, these goals can only be achieved if the people supported equally to the innovation.
Not Batmobile but an actual flying car
The reel inventors have achieved the target of flying machines but the real-world is still struggling. Some of the people have tried to achieve the goal or can say they are near to achieving it. A startup, NFT has worked for two years on flying car design: the Aska. Aska translates to flying birds in Japanese. The flying car is designed to serve a dual purpose, as it can be used for the drive on the road and also take a flight when needed. Aska is supposed to be as large as an SUV and could fit three passengers. The flight will take off vertically and fly autonomously for about 150 miles. The company plans to test fly the project in 2020 and would start selling until 2025. NFT plans are to acquire a partnership with automotive technology to achieve self- driving machines. There’s AeroMobil from Slovakia, which has the same goal of manufacturing a dual-purpose car. There are many other companies in the race to manufacture the first-ever flying car.
Kitty Hawk is a project funded by Google co-founder Larry Page and led by self-driving car pioneer Sebastian Thrun. Similarly, EHang an autonomous flying car tech company from china is working on a flying car project. And Terrafugia, which hopes to sell the flying car by the end of 2019. Well renowned company Uber already operates Uber Copter and hopes to launch the UberAir service in 2023. Imagine waiting for an Uber who lands in your backyard. Also, a few flying cars that were seen at the CES Tech show look like a cross between a drone and a small helicopter. The future years are going to give us a lot of choices in flying cars.
Flying beyond obstacles
To achieve a target as big as a flying car, is not going to be easy. The barriers and errors are not just limited to manufacturing, but listing a few like ensuring passengers safety and anyone underneath aircraft, obtaining government validation, managing the crowded airspace, new problems, and convincing the people that they want flying cars are some of the major concerns. Drones have helped convincing people for the new change. Amazon recently presented its newest delivery drone and won Federal Aviation Administration approval to operate it as an airline. Google spinoff Project Wing was also approved by the FAA this year.
To conclude, we can say that the future is here indeed. If the data is right by the end of the year there would be flying cars on sale. In no time, VTOLs would be seen all over the sky with flying drones delivering your amazon parcel. Imagination will turn into reality. Yet, there remains one concern — after roads, would the sky be crowded too? Imagine being stuck in traffic, in mid sky. Scientist creates solutions and we create new problems, and this circle gives rise to new innovative technology.
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