Tech - News
Are Flying Cars Coming Sooner Than We Expected?
With AeroMobil’s vehicle in Slovakia recently cleared for takeoff and Uber’s partnership with Joby Aviation to build a fleet of electric flying taxis, the flying car is no longer a pipe dream. However, flying cars must meet all the safety requirements of both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
It’s a tough balancing act, because if a flying car includes all of the NHTSA’s requirements, it could have too much air drag that could slow it down and pose a flight risk. It could also be expensive, so flying car manufacturers like Terrafugia Transition have sought exemptions for tire selection, advanced airbags, electronic stability control systems, and traditional safety glass.
A new design of flying vehicles, known as electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL), could bypass the regulations of the NHTSA and only require approval from the FAA. They also don't require a runway because they use rotors to take off and land from just about anywhere, and since they rely on electric motors, they're quiet with zero carbon emission.
Driving a flying car might require more than a traditional helicopter or airplane pilot's license, as the FAA modified its regulations for eVTOLs. There’s also the question of infrastructure, since most cities will first need to build space for take-offs and landings. Of course, these details will need to be ironed out, but flying cars could be available to the public as early as 2023.