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Posted byMD-PhD-MBA2 months ago

Elon Musk Thinks Flying Cars Could 'Guillotine' People on The Ground - A dark version of the flying cars future.

206 comments
89% Upvoted
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level 1

When I was younger I asked my dad why we weren't anywhere close to flying cars at the turn of the century with Back to the Future seeming so hopeful about it. He told me that he was grateful there were none.

In his words:

"The same asshole who doesn't have a second thought cutting you off at sixty miles per hour on the freeway is going to be the same asshole who cuts you off going 120, while thousand feet in the air."

Flying cars aren't beyond our technological capability - it's just that no sane man would develop a flying car with the intention of a regular person touching the controls. It doesn't matter how advanced it would be: an asshole is an asshole.

level 2
266 points · 2 months ago

People also underestimate the complexity involved with piloting aircraft. Some people have a natural knack for it, others should never be allowed behind the controls of an airplane.

Source: am flight instructor

level 3

I’m sure that’s what they said about cars when horses and carts were the norm :P

level 4
Comment deleted2 months ago(More than 30 children)
level 5

lmao, this, driving is horrifically dangerous

level 6
27 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

I think those 4 way intersections in America add so much unnecessary danger to driving.

EDIT: I'm not trying to be shady, it's just your intersections scare the shite outta me.

level 7

If only there was some sort of circular system that prevented cars needing to go to zero and then speed off at every intersection.

level 8

“But roundabouts are haaaaaaaard.....” - people who haven’t tried roundabouts

level 8

But that insane ammount of trying to get onto a round about when people dont give a shit about you or know how to use turn signals or even use a roundabout.

level 9
Big Red Button17 points · 2 months ago

Yup. Roundabouts can’t fix stupid. If you barely were able to drive before a roundabout, you will barely be able to drive after the roundabout. It may make you slightly less shitty, but that is about it. Worst case, you will see a big ol’ circle with no stop sign and just keep going. Fuck everyone in your way.

level 10

Roundabouts are stressful to get on and off of for sure, but it's rare that anyone dies in one because the speeds are reduced. Much safer than a 4-way intersection and keeps traffic moving the entire time.

level 10

My understanding is that the rate of collisions is not significantly reduced, but the rate of fatal collisions is almost eliminated, something like a 95% reduction.

level 9

To be honest I hold fairly extremist views when it comes to bad driving. No overtaking anyone in the overtaking lane? That'll be an execution. Tailgating? Execution. Zenon lights on tall cars? Execution. Wrong way on the roundabout? Execution. 40mph everywhere including 30s and 60s? Execution. Brakechecking? Execution. Parking across multiple spaces? A bollocking, and you guessed it, an execution in front of your family.

Bad driving would very quickly be a thing of the past.

level 10

Hahaha this got me 😂. I think all of those frustrations are on point, UK driver here and all those things annoy the shit outta me

level 10
3 points · 2 months ago

Execution for all these things would quickly make the roads less crowded.

Over time, it might even reduce the need for extra lanes on the 405 in LA.

level 10

Can't make much money that way sadly so fines/insurance/BS garage prices it is.

level 10

This is extremely effective population control :D

level 10

I think it has to be a little more complex than that lol sometimes mistakes happen, equipment fails, cant just execute everyone lol.

But i say revoke their licenses and impound the vehicle for a length of time determined by the offense.

Also, tall vehicles kinda need vrighter lights imo because they tend to be bigger and take more space need better illumination to see ahead.

However they should either try to dim them when behind a lower car as some folks do or maybe we should make automatic dimming rear veiw mirrors in all cars standard then no one has to worry about anything lol

level 8

Try going into a 2-3 lane roundabout in a busy area. It's so much worse than a intersection.

level 9

When everyone knows what they’re doing (ie U.K.) it works perfectly well, I have to do 3 Lane roundabouts almost daily on days that I drive. In the US I can only imagine the carnage.

level 9
✔ unverified user2 points · 2 months ago

If it's a properly designed 2-lane turbo-roundabout, there is no issue, as you don't change lanes inside the roundabout.

A signalized turbo roundabout can handle any amount of lanes in each direction with only 2 traffic light phases, and has the highest traffic capacity of all at-grade intersections.

more info: https://web.archive.org/web/20150227044620/http://wiki.coe.neu.edu/groups/sustsafety/wiki/801e7/Roundabouts.html

level 7

You’re not wrong, I fucking hate them. Between trying to figure out who stopped first, avoiding the asshole who drives straight through, getting annoyed with people waiting for you to go and you for them, it’s just a pain in the ass.

level 7

Understandable. The thing about 4-way stops is there actually is an “established order” of when people are supposed to go, but of course, nobody follows it. It really boils down to who got there first/who’s brave enough to just go for it and hope the other cars don’t do the same.

level 6

Yep, ask anyone about the time they were closest to death in their life. The vast majority of people will say something about driving. But it's so routine that people discount any kind of danger whatsoever.

You have any idea how constantly close you are to death or serious injury when you're going 80mph on a freeway? One wrong muscle twitch, one unexpected object on the road, or one uncontrollable mechanical failure and you're toast (or that stranger and his family driving next to you is toast). I'm not saying you shouldn't have a right to drive that fast (I do it twice a day every day for work), but you've gotta have some modicum of respect for the reality of what's going on. It shouldn't be taken lightly.

level 6

37,000 road deaths per year in the US.

level 5

You think that’s dangerous? Try operating a car with shitty turning radius, only a parking break, only works on a road with no lanes that is constantly moving underneath you, with hazards in one extra dimension and no real testing requirements to operate.

source: wishes there were more boating instructors

level 6

also everyone is drunk.

level 7

That is the unfortunate truth

level 5

Right but when we were all monkeys, they all said we’d get bit by snakes if we walked instead of swung from tree limbs.

Source: am monkey person

level 4

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” - Henry Ford

level 4

Yeah, it's totally the same when one is comparing both thing that's moving on the ground, and another one is comparing a thing that's moving on 2 axis with a thing that can goes 3 axis

level 3
[deleted]
3 points · 2 months ago

Have you ever taught any dyspraxic people to fly?

level 4

I have no idea what that is.

level 5
[deleted]
7 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

A learning difficulty caused by damage/stunted growth of the cerebral cortex.

Affects spacial reasoning, short term memory and linguistics.

In my experience dyspraxic people can be hyper logical and excel with engineering, computer science or physics, yet struggle with 3d visualisation of shapes (i.e. chemistry and bind angles) and movement inside their head.

Curious combination to teach to fly!

level 6

At first I just thought you kept misspelling dyslexic, never heard of this.

level 7
[deleted]
3 points · 2 months ago

Nope, it's bloody annoying for hand eye coordination

level 6

Nope, never taught anyone like that.

level 6

Probably like 3 people in the US with it......

level 7
[deleted]
2 points · 2 months ago

You must be joking. About 1/10 kids show symptoms of it.

Even if 10% of the 10% is diagnosed that's still ~3.25m.

level 3

IMO, spatial intelligence and kinesthetic intelligence, combined with basic engineering knowledge (math, physics) and discipline = knack for flying aircraft.

level 4

It mostly comes down to situational and spatial awareness. You wouldn’t believe how many new students absolutely struggle with something as simple as lining the airplane up with the runway while on a 5 mile final.

level 3
3 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

unless it's war time, then it's not a problem anymore (at leasts it wasn't for soviets or nazis) to put farmers in the cockpits

level 3

Total automation will be invented before Flying Cars are invented.

level 3

Some people should never be allowed behind the wheel of a car

level 3

Auto pilot

level 3

However automation is getting better all the time, and danger is no excuse for not using technology

level 2

When I was younger I thought a pilots license should be as easy to get as a driver's license. Now that I'm older and have some flight hours under my belt, I think a driver's license should be has hard to get as a pilots license.

level 2

Why having them driving? Just having driving automated solves the problem.

level 3

But (2D) driving is also an unfinished problem. It’s one of many pre-requisites to flying cars, so that’s a small part of why we don’t see them anywhere yet.

level 4

But it's a more realistic path towards "we will have flying cars when..."

I predict we'll get them 30-50 years after we perfect "regular" self-driving tech

level 4

Autopilot is a thing we've had for a long time now and is actually a way easier problem to solve. On the road there's way more things to account for, pedestrians / animals, unpredictable road conditions, weird turns and traffic rules / patterns. In the air pretty much everything but birds are entirely predictable. Straight routes, cars could be required from the start to communicate with each other, grounded in bad weather, etc...

The real problem with flying cars is that they'd be wildly inefficient. How often do you actually go places that would warrant flying even if it were easy? Flying to the grocery store 2 miles away just doesn't make any sense unless the fuel required for takeoff was somehow next to nothing.

level 5

Autopilot works great because the pathway is devoid of obstacles. Autopiloted self-driving cars would have to deal with trees, buildings, other flying cars, etc.

level 6

What? Why would we have flying cars and not fly above those things? What the fuck sense does that make?

level 7

They'd have to pass those obstacles while taking off and landing, unless you drive to an airport first, and in that case why not just take a plane?

level 8

Assuming we're talking about a vtol-capable flying car (only like that makes sense to me) you really wouldn't need to worry about that stuff unless it was directly over or under you.

You can just treat anything that isn't sky or landing pad as "obstacle to be avoided by at least a 5-foot margin"

At takeoff go straight up until you reach approved altitude. At landing you go straight down. Much simpler than driving through congested streets with unpredictable surroundings.

level 5

Indeed it takes a lot of energy to fight gravity which cars on the road dont have to worry about.

level 4

The 2D driving problem will be solved well before flying cars reach mass production status.

level 3

But AI or no AI, a car that breaks down in the sky becomes a falling, flaming, potentially explosive missile that'll wreck much more havok that a car just hitting a wall or curb.

level 3

Do you have AI?

Automation will be developed before flying cars.

level 3

There's also the maintenance issue. People drive around with cars on their last legs, pinned together with cost hangers. When a car craps out on the ground, it just stops. But when a car craps out 1000 feet up in the air ...

level 2

Flying cars are definitely beyond our technological capability to produce in any remotely economical way.

level 2

The worst part about everything is always the people

level 2
1 point · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

You're not wrong. Add to it that some of those vehicles will be driven by distracted drivers, tired drivers, inexperienced drivers, drunk drivers, retired drivers. Some of the vehicles will be in need of maintenance.

Something going wrong 1000 feet above people is just always going to be worse than something going wrong on a road. It's not the same, so safety standards have to be correspondingly tighter.

level 2

Well we already have flying cars, they are called helicopters.

level 2

how about military?

level 2

Surely they would just be automated.

level 2

Better Off Ted explained it with jet packs.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DG3ORCDEYUE

level 2

Welcome to Massachusetts!

level 2

I'd imagine the idea now would be that we can't fly the cars. They fly themselves and we have no input unless in an emergency situation, if even then.

level 2
1 point · 2 months ago

This reminds me of AI stock market trading joke. In a trading room you need the trading black box, a broker, and a dog. The dog is there to bite the man's hand if he tries to touch the black box. The same is true of flying cars.

level 2

I'd think that flying cars would be autonomous right from the beginning. Flying cars would be basically car-sized drones.

level 2
-2 points · 2 months ago

...what the hell is a "flying car"?

Do you mean aircraft? We already have aircraft. Planes and helicopters most prominently. Why would we need to invent them for a second time?

1 more reply

level 1

Is there a single propulsion design that would allow flight while operating within legal noise levels? The thing I don’t get with flying cars is, even if you could make them totally safe, unable to fly without preflight checks, maintenance schedules, not crashing into kindergartens, totally autonomous “driving” etc, the noise would surely make them illegal to operate near a house? Or are we all just going to sleep with ear protection? Imagine your neighbour getting home from work late, leaving early at 5am. The roar of the 6pm swarm headed home for dinner..

level 2

They could fly at a certain height or in a "virtual airway" away from residential zones as one possible solution to reduce noise.

level 3

If they can’t go near residential areas, what is the advantage over existing technologies like helicopters?

level 4

They can, but the majority of traffic would be routed the same way we use highways and roads. Most of the high-capacity traffic could be directed away from where people live. So only local traffic would be making noise.

level 5

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology, flying cars would be awesome, I just struggle to understand what the problem is, they’re attempting to solve, that couldn’t be better solved by dozens of other solutions.

I imagine in a decade or so, we’ll be able to watch some really cool flying car racing, some quite wealthy people might own them, and use them to hop between buildings in large cities. Certainly they’d have medical emergency use, perhaps some military or at a stretch police use but, I can’t see them becoming commonly used by civilians.

level 6

Yea I agree. Noise isn't the biggest problem flying cars are gonna have though.

One day it could be a practical solution to things like road-maintenance costs and energy-conservation efforts. We're just not at the right place technologically right now.

level 7

I’m not saying noise is the biggest problem, I’m saying even if all the really big problems that made civilian flying cars such a bad idea could be solved, they’d still be an undesirable solution to a problem that can be solved in far more sensible ways.

level 8

Now that strikes me as odd. If all the major problems of flying cars get solved, how are they undesirable considering the benefits they could have?

Lots of things people try to innovate aren't solutions to problems as much as they are improvements over existing technology. Flying cars can potentially be both.

level 9

Like I said, I think they’d have some applications, especially as ambulances. But the noise level seems to me, to be insurmountable. To fly, you have to have thrust and lift. A volume of air must be displaced to create lower pressure above the craft, than below it. With VTOL, this will always be very very loud unless someone invents magic silent propulsion. Any number of systems like monorails, subway/metro lines, gondolas, trams, buses, “slot-car” tunnels etc would be preferable to very loud flying machines in residential areas. And if they’re not able to take of and land at home, you need lots of local landing pads, away from home, which just creates another point of congestion.

level 10

True, noise pollution is a notable problem even for current technology, but it seems far from insurmountable to me.

If flying cars also have the capability of ground travel they can just drive to a takeoff point and land in a similar fashion. The benefit of only having to use 10% of commute distance for land travel vs 100% is a huge and impactful difference. Driving via ground to take off solves or at least mitigates the noise problem.

In this way cities probably wouldn't have to spend as much money on road maintenance for long stretches of road. They could then allocate that saved money to increasing lane capacity for short-distance takeoff and landing points. Since a VTOL landing pad could theoretically be put anywhere there would be very minimal congestion if at all since there could be multiple ground destinations that are all the correct destination. That solves or at least allows an opportunity to solve the congestion problem.

Then there's one problem with transport methods that need lots of infrastructure and that's infrastructure. It can't change easily once it's built and it takes a lot of time, planning, and investment to build it. The thing is that cities change over time and their needs change. How many roads or railways get built only to be abandoned after so many years? Or how many one lane roads become chronically congested overtime because that area the road supports is suddenly more popular? Then there's maintenance as I've mentioned before. Roads are so expensive to maintain that some places just don't do it. And when they do those roads can be blocked for weeks months if it's a big job. Every year where i live in the summer, at least one major road get shutdown or bottle-necked for repairs. Traffic lasts all day long for 2-3 months of the year.

With 100% flying transports the only transport infrastructure that needs to be maintained are landing points, short-distance transportation to them, parking, and flight control. Cheaper road maintenance, more manageable traffic, adaptable to future needs. These are problems right now that could be solved if you're looking for a problem they can fix.

But hey, you might be right. Whoever makes flying cars happen might not even consider the noise they make and design them and their use without that in mind, just don't think that noise is going to make or break them for most people or even as a engineering hurdle.

level 2

My neighbor gets picked up at 4 a.m. and his asshole of a ride lays on the horn every fucking time, even if he's standing on the porch. One of these days...

level 3

Get a horn kit from a locomotive, and blast it at 3:59

level 2

I live close to an airport and next to a highway, airplanes have no qualms about flying over my house at 2am shaking the whole neighborhood.

level 3

And I imagine they had to go through a lengthly consenting process, with public submissions, to be allowed to do that. We need airports, for sure. And living near them probably isn’t all that fun. Turning every suburban driveway into one doesn’t sound desirable to me.

level 2

Cylindrical rotors using the Magnus effect?

Still a lot of engine/gearing noise I should imagine though.

level 2

Electric cars would help with reducing the noise i suppose.

level 2

Electric motors is a solution to the noise problem. But electricity powered fixed wing flight is a still quite a long way off. Electric VTOL is almost impossible in the near future.

level 3

Even with electric motors, four blades moving that much air is going to be way too loud.

level 4

The majority of the noise does not come from the blades. As you can see in this video: https://youtu.be/2CS3isCH4bk, they're almost silent.

level 1
66 points · 2 months ago

Well, he's being a bit dramatic but he isn't wrong.

If you get to a point where thousands of cars fly over a city a few accidents will certainly happen and some people on the ground will die.

Personally, I see the need for aerial flyways where cars fly over certain areas with not that many people below.

Eventualy the flying cars will become safe enough but in the early stages it's important to minimize the accidents as much as possible, otherwise the lawmakers will just ban them once and for all (kinda like the helicopters over NYC).

level 2
Blue78 points · 2 months ago

A flying self driving car is the only acceptable option to me. That will prevent accidents.

level 3
11 points · 2 months ago

Yeah, this is where the industry crawls towards but the problem is that because the technology is not there yet the first vehicles will be too unreliable because they will be cutting edge.

Multiply motors, triple-redundant systems and extensive QA/QC will be required in the first stages but hopefully the prohibitive costs will limit the number of accidents and the public won't get scared too much too fast (probably similar to what Uber's accident caused).

level 4
8 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Actually it is probably an order of magnitude easier to handle automated flight. Hear me out.

You don't need to work with manual drivers at all. You don't need to follow road signs, traffic lights, or painted lanes. You don't need to avoid pedestrians, trash, parked cars, bicyclists, children playing basketball, etc. We already have automated flight in the form of airplanes, the same principles would carry over quite readily so most of the work is already done. If traffic is too intense to be safe, you can change elevation to a less intense flight path. All vehicles can communicate with all other vehicles, and know exactly what that vehicle will be, and is currently, doing. Lane changes, speed, elevation, direction, etc are all determined by computer algorithms for all vehicles involved.

It is maybe slightly more difficult than if every ground vehicle was automated, but it is more simple by far than automating some ground vehicles while others are human driven.

level 5
3 points · 2 months ago

Automated flight is easy. It's automatic take-off and landing that are hard as hell.

level 6

Just imagine how your average shopping mall or stadium would look. The amout of air traffic would even put heathrow to shame.

level 5

This, precisely. I don't know why everyone freaks out about flying cars being more dangerous when you have all the space to maneuver away from any problems.

level 5

As others said, the flying part is easy and we are already doing it today.

The difficult part is the take off and landing where a lot can go wrong and automated systems might dangers on the air (such as power lines) or the ground (such as a vehicle or a human).

Also, you have to consider the chances of catastrophic failure where the vehicle loses more-than-it-can-handle motors and fall from the sky potentially hitting other flying vehicles and anything that might be parked or walking below.

level 5
0 points · 2 months ago

Automated flight is easy. It's automatic take-off and landing that are hard as hell.

level 3

Yes, but it won't prevent all accidents. Machines breakdown. If it suffers a critical malfunction while flying 90 mph over city streets, an accident may be unavoidable.

level 4

Exactly. Even if we could, one day, safely do it, its still up in the air. Plenty of people don't take care of their cars, and I can't even imagine someone having something go wrong a couple hundred feet above ground. Everything that goes up must come back down. If you have an accident now or your car freaks out, you have a high chance of just pulling over and getting out of danger or you just sit there waiting for help. You get into an accident in the air or your car malfunctions, you're dead.

level 5

Yeah. We will be looking at aviation levels of repair costs and procedures. It won't be cheap and readily available to the general population for a long time. Too many people would try to do their own work in the secrecy of the family garage and causing accidents.

level 6

Could be avoided by just requiring bi-yearly inspections by a certified inspector.

The fact that vehicles failing on the road doesn't cause many accidents (assuming all drivers are driving at safe distances) is really the only reason we don't have such a law in place now. But once you're looking at 4,500lb crashing into a residential complex if it fails, I don't see why we wouldn't require such a thing.

level 3
[deleted]
1 point · 2 months ago

Flying cars would need to follow routes that are composed of virtual corridors in the air. Humans are incapable of knowing precisely where the corridors are, so only automation could do it if it's paired with GPS, ground radar, and optical image processing.

People flying around willy-nilly only works if there's a handful of cars in the air, but the moment flying cars become technologically and economically feasible, there will be millions of them in the air over dense cities. Owners will be forced to travel along approved corridors.

level 3
Basic Income, Singularity, and Transhumanism1 point · 2 months ago

I agree, and I think that should also apply to every other vehicle.

It's insane that we trust humans to drive giant metal machines at high speeds.

level 3

I'm with you. Maybe because I live on a small island.on that thought...small islands is where this technology should be first tested. Much easier to control for externalities and the advantage of a flying vehicle are much more apparent when residents are stuck using a few slow moving roads.

level 3
Big Red Button1 point · 2 months ago

You are going to have to make their systems probably some of the most secure in the world as well.

You think suicide bombers are bad in some places? Wait until terrorists realize they can hack a car’s controls and use it as a flying bomb with a hostage. You would also have shitty people thinking it is funny to hijack cars just cause. While flying cars will have tremendous potential for good, they will have just as much, if not more, potential for evil.

level 3

I think you meant self-flying car.

level 2

His middle name is dramatic 😂

level 1

I see how poorly people maintain their vehicles now, just think of how many maintenance problems they could ignore in the future!

level 2

This. Its easier to circumvent the automated preflight safety check, than to shell out $1500 for a new blade cause the old one started to delaminate a little... it’ll be fine though....

level 3

Yep, and don't forget the Pan Am building helicopter crash was caused by "metal fatigue". Which is another word for not replacing old blade at end of service life.

level 2
[deleted]
5 points · 2 months ago

"I dont know, I just drive it"

level 1

Tbqh it seems more dangerous that they would crash into buildings.

level 2

People life in buildings..

level 3

yeah, I mean more that I'm concerned about them bringing tall buildings tumbling down.

level 4
0 points · 2 months ago

Tall buildings are usually designed to withstand aircraft impacts. The Twin Towers fell down because of the fire caused rather than the impact itself, an air taxi sized aircraft would be no problem. For example the Empire State building withstood a B-25 bomber crashing into it in 1945.

level 5

Yes, but couldn't the things themselves be weaponized somehow? with explosives or whatever? IDK, I'm not an engineer. But it seems like individual crashes chopping off individual heads pales in comparison to drones bringing down buildings.

level 1

I really hope Uber doesn't go through with this, seeing as they can't even develop their self driving cars.

level 2

The moment I heard about Uber's flying taxi idea, I thought to myself "man, I sure am glad I don't live in a city, then."

Can you imagine thousands of minicopters flying over your head? I get nervous just hearing one metal death box above my head. And if it falls on me, I'll probably be the only one who dies where I live. In a city it could be hundreds if it hits the wrong place.

level 1
4 points · 2 months ago

Doesnt take a genius to figure out that flying cars would kill ppl,on the ground..

level 2

Elon Musk predicts fire is hot.... Reddit congratulates him on his genius!

level 1

People are terrible at driving just on a horizontal surface. Adding a vertical element would be a billion times worse

level 1

I don't get this flying cars obsession, ever heard of planes or helicopters?

level 2

Ever heard planes or helicopters? Now imagine everyone had a mini version.... shudder

level 3

We already have one man helis and planes.

level 4

Yeah and everyone picks up their kids from school with them?

level 5

Well they cost about 100k to buy and 20k/year to maintain and fuel. So a lot of people probably can't afford it yet. I also think flying one is still difficult so that's also an issue.

But we do have them,.

(though the cheapest I could find in my 5 minutes search was only 35k, though that was a relatively old one).

level 6

I know, I'm talking about replacing cars with "flying cars".

level 1

Flying cars will never happen. The need will never arise to justify the complexity and risks it creates.

1 more reply

level 1

I would hope a flying car would fly higher than head height.

level 2

Of course. They'll fly at balcony height, so the creepy guy who honks at you on the street can come wave at you from outside your window.

level 1
2 points · 2 months ago

Yeah and self driving cars could run over pedestrians in the road. You know, like just happened two weeks ago.

level 1

The reason they weren't ever implemented even for the rich is because accidents would be just disgustingly wretched. One car crash could easily destroy several houses and kill several or dozens of people.

level 1

Has /futurology become r/history now?

That's old news.

level 1
2 points · 2 months ago

People suck at driving at a lowly 65 mph. I can't imagine how terrible they'd be shooting through the air while texting, or on a call, or simply thinking they can just "change lanes" without seeing who's next to them.

And then imagine the flying cars that are compensating for other... Short comings. With wing lifts and oversized turbines.

No thanks.

level 1

Two main reasons we probably shouldn't have flying cars.

Drunk drivers and terrorists.

Car accidents are bad enough on the roads. Could you imagine them happening above your home or a school? Add on top of that that some people would purposefully fly them into buildings or crowds.

The only way I see it working is with self driving flying cars.

level 2

You want two different ones?

  1. Winds

  2. Icing

It seems that people that know nothing (or very little) about aviation think flying cars make sense. Those of us that know what flying entails understand how impractical flying cars would be.

level 3

It's completely beyond me why anyone would want car-sized mechanical flies all over the place (or in giant "high" highways, whatever.) Just put them in the fucking ground and finally rid the streets of them.

level 4

Exactly. Underground makes a great deal more sense, in a lot of circumstances. Not always, obviously, but tunnels are a far smarter solution than thousands of flying death boxes.

level 3

Exactly this. I asked a (recreational) pilot friend about flying cars once. He said “they’ve been talking about them for decades, they were a stupid idea back in the 70’s and nothing has changed”

In the 50’s, some people thought we’d all have helicopters by now. I can’t ever see it changing unless someone comes up with magic, passive, infallible and silent Ironman style “repulsor-lift” gravity bending witchcraft.

level 4

By the time they do a preflight check, fuel up, file a plan, taxi to the runway and get flight clearance I'll be on my second coffee at work.

level 2

Who is going to do all the required maintenance on their flying cars as well, the heaps that can be kept running on the road pose a lot bigger threat in the air if all routine safety checks aren't done. it will be beyond the average persons costs to run a flying car.

level 1

Scientists have had the technology for years. Whats been holding us back is our giant net capabilities

level 1

That thought hasn't crossed my mind until now. Thanks to Elon, I now see a future consisting of terrorist attacks that involve flying cars chopping the heads off of the pedestrians below.

level 2

Or spit on you.

level 1

Is the idea of flying cars for everyone still a thing?. No.

level 1
Comment deleted2 months ago(2 children)
level 2

Hey, I'm from the future and here to tell you your fears have come true! Now, an awful amount of people die in horrific accidents, many more from the terribly polluted air, and cities are loud as fuck! I mean, not sure they're less loud than it was with horses, those dudes seem like they were quite loud, too. Also, much, much faster and no literal horse shit everywhere (just some hellish oil spills in the oceans, but that's a different story). Welp, at least it's not they're flying in the skies though!

level 3

How far into the future are you from?

level 1

You could say the same about RC aircraft before the invention of the drone. Anyone can fly a drone with a very short learning curve. But flying an RC plane is another story entirely.

Once the craft can autopilot (self drive) it won't really matter. Few accidents would happen since most people would just be flying regular routes on autopilot.

I've been a long time dreamer of a craft that you could fly fast enough to chase the sun around the earth. Concorde was close but they shut that down. Virgin galactic might of been a contender but that ended as well.

level 1

To everyone saying that people would not be able to manoeuvre (is that the right word?) a flying car: When we are that far in technology there would not be a driver needed. They would of course be self-flying :)

level 1

Aircraft are potentially a lot easier to automate and 3 dimenions does give you a lot of space to work with.

That said i think the notion of people flying themselves are ridicoulous in the context of a flying 'car'

On top of that i dont think flying cars would replace ground cehicles outright, their use case would be ever so slightly differen and even if they steal some of the purpose from ground vehicles there would be some left.

level 1

This is why I've never believed in flying cars, even with promises of self-driving. A car breaks down on the road and it can pull over, whether by a human or an AI. A car breaks down in the sky and, self-driving or no self-driving, you got a crumbling explosive missile falling out of the sky.

level 1
[deleted]
1 point · 2 months ago

Also, why would you wants millions of cars flying around you being loud as fuck and I would rather look up and see a clear sky...

level 1

Just need someone to figure out practical electrically powered antigravity and the flying cars will take over the world.

level 1

I agree with Elon, flying cars are fucking scary, I'd be fine with hover cars however

level 1

we would have to make designated flight lanes...wouldn't be hard to to

level 1

I'm going to get downvoted to hell for this, but I'm a little tired of the guy that is wildly optimistic about future tech that he has a vested interest in but overly pessimistic in those that he doesn't. Flying drone cars are a lot easier than a city on Mars. Just my 2 cents.

level 2

Flying drone cars would also make teslas rapidly obsolete ;)

level 3

Also birds, going outside, or living above ground.

level 4

There’s no reason why this technology would be necessarily unsafe, crash prone or loud... electric engines make no noise for example

level 2
1 point · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Didn’t downvote, but what you’re saying is like “this guy is shitting on cars by saying that they can kill pedestrians or other drivers, while he doesn’t remember the shuttles that exploded.”

Seriously: more people die in traffic than space. Especially when we aren’t even sending people to mars.

Is it remotely off the wall to think about a vehicular failure than causes the car to land on your ass?

Edit: seriously, you don’t even have to be in a crosswalk.

Edit 2: bringing up concern is not the same as being pessimistic.

“Don’t cut your hand with that knife!”

“Oh, you’re against knives now but you want to build a city on mars. Hypocrite.”

“No, but just remember to cut away from your body. Knives are good tools.”

“Don’t tell me what to do, Devil woman.”

level 2

Hahahaha, what an amazingly stupid sentiment! Dude, that's the point. If he was optimistic about something, he'd invest in it. He doesn't invest in flying cars because he's pessimistic about it. As he should, because flying cars is fucking stupid.

level 1

We've had flying cars for 80 years though. They're called helicopters.

level 1

I agree. I don’t trust drivers on the ground. There is no way any rules will be followed with flying cars.

level 1

There are many humans on this planet who can't even step on a Segway without falling over.

level 1

Flying cars like in movies rely on some breakthrough in anti gravity tech, or magic propulsion jets that can levitate two tons for hours with a small fuel tank. Laws of physics say no.

This problem isn't really something where 'they' can work out a solution with enough money. There is nothing in nature that ignores gravity and quite possibly no way to practically

If you have a machine that Can do this, you then have the energy of an entire star, you're warping space and time, and the milky way is yours. You dont need to fly through a dystopian new York dude

level 2

Good point. But we can use much stronger air propellers for now just like in drones. We’ll worry about magnetic propulsion later.

level 1
Comment deleted2 months ago(3 children)
level 2

Why not just let AI control it? Soon enough safer than any human pilot.

2 more replies

level 1

Maybe I'm lacking in imagination, but what is the actual use-case for a flying car where it actually provides a significant improvement over other modes of transport?

Like the only thing I can imagine is that you're some businessman who lives on the top of a tall, high skyscraper and want to visit another businessman who lives on another tall, high skyscraper.

Sure, if you've got clear, open skies you could beeline to your destination, but tbh with what's been said in the article, having designated sky routes would be more likely. I mean, even boats have shipping routes.

Feels like Uber is wasting some cash with their air taxi tech, though they must see some value if they're going to invest in that.

level 2

No, you're right. It's a childish, impractical fantasy.

level 1

Flying cars piloted by human drivers would be a nightmare. Givee me a flying robot car.

level 1

A flying car would just be a type of aeroplane, as such it would not be allowed to fly that low. It would have to be flown by pilot with a flying license, and would have to take off and land from dedicated areas. Paint the word 'CAR' on a four seater plane, and you're there.

level 2

It would have to be flown by pilot with a flying license, and would have to take off and land from dedicated areas.

And that's different from drivers' licenses and parking spots for ground-bound cars how?

Paint the word 'CAR' on a four seater plane, and you're there. Except cars don't have the word car on them like that

level 1

Cars can and do "guillotine" people now, are we living in the late 1800's version of a "dark future" because it's happened a few times?

level 1

First, they flew planes into buildings. But then planes were hard to come by

Now they rent trucks to crash into crowds

Imagine if they could just rent a flying car and fly it into whatever building they wanted

level 2

then planes were hard to come by

Um, no. Google 'plane rentals'.

level 1

Flying cars?

You mean helicopters with wheels?

You mean mini-planes?

No car is gonna guillotine people anymore than planes do now. Certainly not anymore than traffic accidents at the moment.

level 2

So where are these cars gonna fly, at the same level as planes? You're gonna go 35000 feet above ground and then down to go to work every day?

1 more reply

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