Thread: Flying cars!
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Old Posted Jun 9, 2021, 4:50 PM
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Flying cars are "imminent" new study finds


- It’s the morning of the big pitch and like any self-respecting main character, you’ve rolled out of bed well after your alarm in a panic to rush to your car or closest subway station only to arrive at your office late and covered in sweat. This is a tale as old as time, but transportation may be finally ready to solve it in the form of a sleek, Jetsons-like flying car (or rather, electric vertical take-off and lift eVTOL) that can whisk you away above rush hour traffic and place you down at the office without breaking a sweat. This notion is called UAM, or urban air mobility. — But while this future may be fast approaching, one key lagging part of this technology could stand in its way: slow to charge lithium-ion batteries. This is a problem that Chao-Yang Wang, director of the Electrochemical Engine Center at Penn State, tells Inverse he and colleagues may have just solved in a new paper published Monday in the journal Joule. The solution? Turning up the heat for these batteries to nearly 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

- While flying cars may be the most easily accessible comparison for eVTOL craft, it may be more accurate instead to compare them to zippy, electrically powered helicopters or human-sized drones. As their name suggests, these crafts are designed to take off and land vertically, which makes them good candidates for urban air mobility. — The dream for UAM is that you can catch a flight from the suburbs, through the city, or to the airport by hopping on an eVTOL at centrally located vertiports (a mix between a helipad and an airport, but for city-cruising eVTOL.) In theory, these crafts would clear up traffic congestion by zipping passengers to and from their destinations by air and in a fraction of the time it would take on the ground. This reality, however, hasn’t quite come to fruition. Partially because it would require huge infrastructure and policy changes to implement, but also because eVTOL isn’t quite ready yet to pick up and drop off passengers on a dime.


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