According to the “Back To The Future II” movie in 1989, we should be expecting flying cars to hit the roads sometime next year. However, we aren’t hearing much news about the possibility of flying vehicles. Either the companies are keeping an extra tight lid on the news, or it’s just not going to happen. Personally, I prefer the first option. On the other hand, Elon Musk has come public with his opinion on flying cars:
So, everyone, hit the pause button on your hopes of driving a flying car anytime soon. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and the shoulder on which our dreams of flying cars sits on, appears to be against the flying vehicles. Why would anyone be against flying cars, you say? Our thoughts exactly. Unfortunately, his reasoning sounds practical, reasonable and mature.
“If the sky was full of cars flying all over the place, it would affect how things look. It would affect the skyline. And it would be noisier and there would be a greater probability of something falling on your head. Those are not good things,” he told The Verge in the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.
He makes a good point. I’m not sure how it is everywhere else, but Malaysians have a problem with throwing trash out of their moving vehicles. You name it, I’ve seen it flying out of windows: McDonalds’ happy meals, drinking bottles, empty pepsi cans, pokemon toys, used tissue paper, new tissue paper, umbrellas, half eaten nasi lemak, two-year-old plastic bags with what probably is biohazard contents, young Malaysian’s dreams of ever affording a house… you get the idea.
As much as I love the idea of flying vehicles, I’m not a big fan of things falling on my head.
“On the other hand,” Elon Musk continued, “you’d be able to go from one place to another faster.” Although admittedly, he said that this can also be achieved by constructing better transportations systems and channels. Just a few days ago, they unveiled Tesla D, an improved version of the Model S sedan. This all-wheel-drive car can go from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds and boasts a 360 degree sonar.
The automatic system is able to ensure that the car stays within the lanes as well as stop immediately in case of emergencies. On top of that, this car is able to park itself. Yes, even the dreaded parallel parking. Other companies like Audi, BMW and Toyota are working towards creating a car capable of driving itself. So maybe we aren’t getting that flying car, but an automatic car won’t be all that bad either, right?
How about your dreams of operating a flying car? Well, there may be something in the works. Terrafugia, a private company specializing in Aircraft manufacturing is currently working on Transition and TF-XTM. Transition is a light sport aircraft (which requires you to have a sport pilot’s certificate to operate) and the TF-XTM is a (you’ve guessed it) flying car.
To add icing to the cake, they’ve designed it such that it is able to fold it’s wings so it will actually be street-legal. The Transition light sport aircraft is expected to hit the roads in 2015! This small aircraft, priced at $279,000 requires the driver to find a runway in order to take off.
Meanwhile, the TF-X only required a local helipad or a small parking lot to take off. The stubby wings allows the car to lift off nearly vertically. However, it will take a few more years to make it into the market, with the current expected date of 2021.
Our Jetsons future might be closer than we think!