NASA: Flying Cars Are P-A-V!
The flying car is… not a lot closer than it was when a puppet named Mike Mercury took Gerry Anderson's Supercar into the wild blue. According to CNET News, NASA is attempting to rectify the non-situation by stumping up some $2m in prize money for developers of “small seat” experimental airplanes. The space agency's Personal Aircraft Vehicle (PAV) Challenge replaces the agency's in-house development process in favor of "chaotic innovation or ideas hatched in people's garages." PAV fans envision a future where small auto-piloted planes ferry people on “midrange” trips between 100 and 500 miles at speeds up to 150mph. Technologies such as virtual pilot assistants and synthetic vision systems (SVS) could remove pilot error (substituting computer error?) and create virtual highways in the skies. "We're looking at making planes cheaper than cars and as easy to drive.” says pilot Michael Coates of Australia. [BTW: Anderson said he invented Supercar as an excuse to reduce his puppets' walking time, which never looked realistic.]
I like the innovation aspect, and the possibility that technologies might come out of such development that would be applicable elsewhere. But as romantic as it sounds, I think the entire concept of flying cars is colossally stupid.
If we don't have enough power (energy sources) to power our selves in a two dimensional commute, how are we going to do three?
Flying cars will be awesome! Instead of listening to my idiot neighbor idling his diesel pickup outside for 15 minutes each morning, I can listen to my idiot neighbor hovering his flying car for 15 minutes each morning. That'll be great!
Ridiculous. We don't even know how planes are going to fly when oil is no longer plentiful, and they're trying to encourage the introduction of flying cars?