Thread: Flying cars!
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Old Posted Nov 13, 2020, 8:22 PM
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The flying car is here – and it could change the world


- Advances in battery energy density, materials science and computer simulation have spurred the development of a range of personal flying vehicles (and the navigation systems that will allow them to run), from electric gliders to fixed-wing craft and quadcopter drones. — Far smaller than a commercial plane, most are designed with rotors instead of wings, which allow for vertical takeoff and landing. Tilt rotors, for example, allow for efficiency in forward flight at longer distances, while multirotors are designed to reduce noise in hover flight. Most important, these vehicles are designed to offer faster commutes than traditional modes of transit for individuals, especially in traffic-clogged cities.

- Reimagining human flight requires vehicles that are “road legal” and safe to fly, but also a public willing to fly in them. Industry leaders need to convince riders that VTOLs aren’t compelling simply because the technology is possible, but because it is preferable to other modes of transport – and safe. — Fully automated vertical transport with a proven track record may put the public at ease, but a vast network of flying objects creates a host of new challenges. VTOLs will obviate the need for runways or on-the-ground parking, but they will require dedicated air corridors and sky-harbours to store craft. — The “Skyway”, for want of a better term, will need its own set of laws.

- What accounts for the sudden proliferation of VTOL developers? Global trends like the rise of e-commerce, climate change, the gig economy and an integrated supply chain have accelerated interest in personal air travel, while failures in our current infrastructure and related industries underscore its necessity. As cities like New York, Hong Kong and Beijing reach capacity, urban living becomes less and less sustainable – yet our increasingly interconnected economy demands constant mobility. The effects could transform commuting, and living, as we know it.

- Increasing numbers of flying cars will naturally give rise to a changing layout in the way our cities are structured as cities grow taller, rooftop landings expand and air highways connect super sky-scrapers, freeing up space below. Fewer cars on the ground will reduce congestion and may give rise to parks and green spaces. — As soon as 2030, consumers might be able to press a button and order an air taxi straight to their cloud-tethered office. In the decades that follow, we may ultimately have fewer and fewer reasons to descend to the earth below.


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