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Do personal flying crafts interest you?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Flying cars are closer than you think (at https://www.cnet.com/news/uber-air-flying-cars-are-closer-than-you-think/ )

Pioneers perish, settlers flourish. That said, if I were an auto industry exec, I'd be keeping an eye on such trends. I'm seeing a spike in interest, the number of articles discussing VTOL (Vertical Take Off/Landing), the number of VTOL prototypes, etc. Many hurdles remain, but the technological advances are showing significant progression. We're almost at a point where the technology is no longer the limitation. The bigger hurdles appear to be infrastructure (IT infrastructure) and regulatory/legal.

Fully autonomous cars could in theory, be skipped right over.

747s have been able to (technologically, not legally) take off and land without a human on board for decades.
 

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Wow, absolutely not. I think that it's a science fiction idea at best... without reading the article, these would have to be fully autonomous because there are no lanes or medians to keep distracted people on track in the sky. They can just fly into buildings and other people freely.

Maybe I'll be proven wrong... but personally, I have no interest in ever owning a flying car. I am strongly opposed to fully autonomous on-road vehicles, yet I'd much rather own one of those than a flying car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, absolutely not. I think that it's a science fiction idea at best... without reading the article, these would have to be fully autonomous because there are no lanes or medians to keep distracted people on track in the sky. They can just fly into buildings and other people freely.

Maybe I'll be proven wrong... but personally, I have no interest in ever owning a flying car.
I suspect you don’t take M-59 east to get to work in the morning . . .
Cars are great, when you’re not wasting an hour and a half of your day sitting in traffic - twice each day.
The urge to fly over that mess gets stronger every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If I had to spend an hour each way on a commute, I’d move.
Depends on circumstances. If you live in a 5,000 square foot Georgian Manor adjacent to woods and a comparable property closer to work is three times the price since you changed employers, you might not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Also, flying cars theoretically increase the range from which people can live and work. I know many people who would love to live in the northern area of Michigan's lower peninsula and work near metro Detroit. Flying cars bring such a dream within reach. The Moller Skycar, reported to have a cruise speed near 300 mph, and a range of over 800 miles, could conceivably move a one hour commute from 30 - 40 miles away to about ten times as far. The thought of flying to work appeals to many. It is like the mullet of commutes from the 1980s. Business 9 to 5, live in the backwoods the rest of the day. ;)
No more sitting on I-75 in stop and go traffic heading "up north" for long holiday weekends. You live there, and fly to work.
The closer you get to major metropolitan areas, the more expensive land gets (and therefore, the less of it you get for your money). If you want land, you move away from major metropolitan areas. Conversely, the further you get from major metro areas, the less money the average person makes. Flying cars have the ability to transform that dynamic significantly. Work in the metro area, where the money is, live in wide open spaces where land is less expensive - the best of both worlds and it has the potential to disrupt the entire transportation industry.
It's still a fairly long way off, but with the rapid pace of technological advances, it gets closer to possible every day.
Another facet of it would be the economic boon that results from the roll out of the IT infrastructure growth and the high paying jobs associated with it and the exponential growth of the air traffic control career field (one of the few fields where someone with only an Associate's degree can earn roughly $150,000/year).

There are obvious drawbacks, but you know engineers, they live to solve problems.
“Mark my words, a combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.”
- Henry Ford, 1940

Granted, here we are nearly 80 years later and Flying cars are still not a facet of daily life, but will that always be the case?
I suspect not. When flying cars become a feasible reality is still a very large question, but it is much more realistic now than ever before. Early adopters would pay a hefty price for their pioneering, but once mass produced, the Moller Skycar for instance, was once rumored to have an anticipated price of $60,000 - $80,000 (likely closer to six figures in current dollars), which puts it within range of high end luxury cars. Moller has had all manner of problems from a business perspective (accusations of fraud, SEC complaints, non-viable business model, etc.), but the technology is interesting.
 

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True, but not everyone does their work on a computer and at times, even those who do have to be on site (memory upgrades, server moves, cabling, etc.).
Yes but good portion of the economy is now. And there are service providers like quest that can take care of the other things mentioned
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes but good portion of the economy is now. And there are service providers like quest that can take care of the other things mentioned
Those service providers work under contracts - no contract, no work. Employers may require staff to be on site rather than to increase costs by paying third party services.
 

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Depends on circumstances. If you live in a 5,000 square foot Georgian Manor adjacent to woods and a comparable property closer to work is three times the price since you changed employers, you might not.
I would not be willing to give up 3 hours a day, time is more valuable then money for me.
 

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The only way I could see flying cars work is for them to be completely automated. The current trend is for cars to take over more basic functions of driving instead of improved driver training. There are enough idiots on the road who can't comprehend two dimensional vehicle operation, it's hilariously naive to expect adding a third dimension (vertical) will be within the average drivers ability or even that enough people will be disciplined enough to receive minimal training.

But for the sake of argument, lets say everyone will go to and pass Airwolf flying car school. How many people are going to want to be around and listen to a mini helicopter take off from home, work, the store, etc.? Even a car without an exhaust won't compare to the noise created to produce adequate thrust. Then air wash will blast sand, grit, toys, small woodland creatures, etc every which way. Every takeoff will be a miserable experience for anyone outside the vehicle. Millions of dollars are spent trying to mitigate the effects of noise and thrust from airports that are in close proximity to residential areas. Who really thinks a personal airport at every home won't be a huge disturbance issue?
 
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Will you be able to tell when it is? Will it say automation be Waymo or will there just be suddenly automatous feature in Ferrari, Maserati, then Alfa, then Chrysler, then across the entire line?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I would not be willing to give up 3 hours a day, time is more valuable then money for me.
If it's a matter of working vs. not working, you go where the work goes and it isn't always close to home - and work can be in a more expensive neighborhood. Life is not a one size fits all and preferences differ. Time and money are intimately related.
You can work more years for less money close to home or fewer years farther away from home. For some, retirement age counts as "time" and they would rather have a longer commute for fewer years than a shorter commute for more years. But again, preferences differ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The only way I could see flying cars work is for them to be completely automated. The current trend is for cars to take over more basic functions of driving instead of improved driver training. There are enough idiots on the road who can't comprehend two dimensional vehicle operation, it's hilariously naive to expect adding a third dimension (vertical) will be within the average drivers ability or even that enough people will be disciplined enough to receive minimal training.

But for the sake of argument, lets say everyone will go to and pass Airwolf flying car school. How many people are going to want to be around and listen to a mini helicopter take off from home, work, the store, etc.? Even a car without an exhaust won't compare to the noise created to produce adequate thrust. Then air wash will blast sand, grit, toys, small woodland creatures, etc every which way. Every takeoff will be a miserable experience for anyone outside the vehicle. Millions of dollars are spent trying to mitigate the effects of noise and thrust from airports that are in close proximity to residential areas. Who really thinks a personal airport at every home won't be a huge disturbance issue?
You make some good points, but the common misconception about the Airwolf flying car schools idea ignores the reality that anything flying (not just putzing around slightly above ground, but actual flight) will still be within the realm of the FAA and you won't have "average drivers", you will have "licensed pilots" which is a much more rigorous standard. As far as automation goes, that isn't the limitation. 747s have been able to take off and land under full automation for decades - that is not new. It isn't ubiquitous and I don't know to what level of smaller planes that technology has trickled, but the possibility exists. Noise can be mitigated somewhat with noise cancellation approaches which have made significant progress in recent years (notice how many reviewers have remarked about how quiet the new Ram cabs are? there's a reason for that). The air turbulence is a consideration, but in metro Detroit area real estate, I have seen more than one home with a helipad on a roof, so that too is not by itself a deal breaker.

Are there challenges? Certainly. But that is what problem solvers and engineers do. They solve problems. They innovate. They create solutions. The best of them innovate solutions others were not capable of and provide solutions others had not considered.
 

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Another way of avoiding problems commuting, instead of moving closer to the job. Maybe we should consider staggering shifts in office work, there are 24 hours in a day, why not put office buildings on a night shift? It works for manufacturing, it could work for desk jobs also. Now this is some innovative thinking. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Another way of avoiding problems commuting, instead of moving closer to the job. Maybe we should consider staggering shifts in office work, there are 24 hours in a day, why not put office buildings on a night shift? It works for manufacturing, it could work for desk jobs also. Now this is some innovative thinking. LOL
Yeah, I've done the night shift (both in manufacturing and IT) - no thanks. And that wouldn't address commute distance (though it would have a positive impact on commute time due to traffic reduction). Points for thinking out of the box - which is consistent with the flying car mentality at the onset, and of course for humor.
 
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