From Blade Runner to Uber, The Flying Car Beckons

From Blade Runner to Uber, The Flying Car Beckons


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Blade Runner, and
Harry Potter… All feature something that people have been
dreaming about for decades. Flying cars. And now that autonomous vehicles are being
tested, it’s natural to ask: Are flying cars next? Although Jetsons-style family flight is probably
decades away, air taxis could be in wide use by 2030. Those would be less like a flying car from
the movies…and more like a hobbyist’s drone. That’s been enlarged to hold half a dozen
people. They’re being designed to be lighter, quieter,
more environmentally friendly and — crucially — less expensive to operate than helicopters. A major difference is that they will run on
electricity. And they won’t be used like a typical on-demand
taxi in the beginning. More like a ferry running on a schedule between
two points — from an airport to downtown, for example. As technology, regulation and popular acceptance
advance, air taxis could be operated remotely, and eventually autonomously, driving down
costs. There are more than 70 companies that have
projects in development. Some are working prototypes. So far, the biggest technological hurdle with
air taxis is batteries: Which are large, heavy, and don’t last long. But thanks to the development of electric
cars, battery technology is improving rapidly. Taking us closer and closer to our flying
vehicle dreams. Of course, there are still a lot of regulatory
hurdles. Airspace would quickly get crowded and dangerous
if just about anyone could become a pilot. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration
can take years to certify a new helicopter… the first air taxis could take even longer. Regulators will be especially cautious about
pilotless flight. But test flights could start happening soon. And Uber Elevate hopes to connect major American
cities to their suburbs by 2023. In the meantime though, driverless cars are expected
to reduce traffic and take passengers door-to-door… Potentially diminishing demand for flying
vehicles before they’ve even taken-off.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

79 Comments

  1. I don’t think I would want just anyone flying a car, only licensed individuals. Heck, if there was some sort of automated Uber for flying cars we could always just use that and save ourselves from spending an insane amount of money buying our own and getting said license.

  2. Mass transportation for cheap – flying busses are the promised "flying cars"?! The costs and logistics of single-seater air transportation within narrow spaces like cities is A) too expensive and B) far too complex.

  3. I don't want them we can't drive on land that's what we need everyone flying cars just think about the crashes just put all the cars in air in you mind

  4. They're called airplanes. The dummies futurists in the 50s didn't think thru what a stupid idea a flying car is. How dangerous, impractical and costly it would be to the society.

  5. You understand most people can't even stop at a red light, the hell you think giving them a flying car would do? Think about how long it takes to get a pilots license, and realize why flying cars are a dumb idea with a population as stupid and inept as ours.

  6. You can't let general public just go fly around without proper training. There is a lot more to flying than driving a car. Above all a pilot must be able to show good judgement in variety of situations and superb discipline. What's the percentage of drivers on the road that show good judgement skills and obey traffic laws? I don't want to be worried about flying vehicles falling on my head or my house.

  7. Running this type of transportation on "electricity" is dangerous and stupid. We have blackouts, burnouts and various interruptions on a regular basis around the world.

  8. Flying car exist since dozen of years at least, no one want them since they are usless. Autonomous VTOL aircraft =/= flying cars.

  9. To pursue the idea : https://www.intelligenthq.com/the-flying-cars-of-tomorrow-will-be-one-of-the-main-vehicles-of-the-sustainable-world-to-come/

  10. Whenever someone says "Flying cars", I just think, "Aren't they, technically, planes or helicopters?". I mean what is the difference?? It is just that people want more affordable planes or helicopters, which are easy to fly.

  11. We should all move away from the concept of flying cars. That would be the most dangerous form of human transportation we have.

  12. Driver less cars still have to stop at traffic while pilot-less drones don't have to. So there is no way one can replace supply of other. Demand for both is different and unique

  13. A Flying Car must be able to both drive on public roads and soar above them. Just about nobody is currently working on that.

  14. It’s not the technology that holding us from inventing flying cars, it’s the inconvenience and impracticality.
    Also it would not offer a new benefit we already have planes which is cheap, safe and fast.

  15. We do have one production flying car that can actually drive and fold out wings to fly, but its extremely expensive and not very well known. Look up Aeromobil.

  16. When I was a kid by now we would have flying cars, colonize the moon, go to Mars, and blah blah blah. It was all fantasy and BS. The BS today is just different, but we do have cell phones today which control our lives.

  17. I'm disappointed in Bloomberg's supposed opinion on time frame of flying cars.
    Personally believe it's way too overly optimistic.
    In regards to its disruption of society.

    Regulations will be hammered out at local level by end of next year to be competitive.
    Smart money would bet on anyways.

    You are telling your fans 2030 they will see flying cars at the earliest.
    Not very good advice..

    The tech is here batteries are null issue already for current inter city needs.
    Next year carbon batteries will begin to grow into market..

    I'm personally disappointed in Bloomberg and expect more, then this paltry understanding of reality.

    Personally truly hope one as noble as he will do what is right.

    As noble of the kingdom one should comport oneself accordingly.

  18. There's going to need to be a standardized network which all flying vehicles are connected to which communicates the location of nearby traffice, probably similar to what's going to be needed for autonomous cars.

  19. Flying taxis will not be stuck in the traffic, and air distance is way shorter than road distance. You will then be at your destination much faster than with autonomous cars.

  20. Never gonna happen unless they're fully autonomous. Ppl can barely be trusted to drive in 2 dimensions, so y'all can forget about flying a car manually.

  21. If you're in TORONTO, this technology is closer than you think! Check out @ryersonhelium to see the flying cars being developed in your own city!

  22. We need crazy AI first before flying cars… then will be more possible! otherwise everybody gunna be crashing, getting motion sickness, passing out from g forces,etc

  23. All our previous leaps and bounds in technology were due to the harnessing energy that was readily available but that we didnt realise was right under our feet. There is no such energy go power a new transportation revolution. This is it. Also population collapse is underway. There is no future.

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