6 votes

NEC shows 'flying car' hovering steadily for minute

7 comments

  1. [5]
    AugustusFerdinand Link
    The author and I clearly have different definitions of "steadily". The island hopping mentioned in the article is something I can see being an actual use for "flying cars" (which I think might get...
    1. The author and I clearly have different definitions of "steadily".
    2. The island hopping mentioned in the article is something I can see being an actual use for "flying cars" (which I think might get another moniker) as general widespread usage of vehicles that move in three dimensions instead of the normal two is not something I see happening without full automation, if at all. Cell phone distracted drivers no longer cause mere fender benders and apologies, they involve mid-air collisions and the subsequent meteoric impact on those below. Maintenance issues and breakdowns no longer cause a bit of traffic, but instead almost universally result in fatalities.
    3. Operation should require the licensing and training that pilots go through, this isn't a "car", it's a aircraft that theoretically fits in the lane of a roadway.
    4. While NEC isn't calling it a "flying car" and it's really just media doing so, no one that has created or planned any such aircraft has shown a single example, that I've seen, that has even a modicum of the safety features that are necessary to sell such a "car" in any first world country that would be the target market. Of course there's the whole motorcycle loophole and is probably one reason it only has three wheels.
    7 votes
    1. thejumpingbulldog Link Parent
      I totally agree, I think one would have a hard time justifying having the 3000 pound killing machines that already kill thousands a year now above their heads.

      I totally agree, I think one would have a hard time justifying having the 3000 pound killing machines that already kill thousands a year now above their heads.

      4 votes
    2. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
      It didn't suddenly drop to the ground, or suddenly rise to the sky. Nor it zip off in an unexpected direction. It rose slowly (if a little wobbly), hovered stationery for a while, then landed...

      The author and I clearly have different definitions of "steadily".

      It didn't suddenly drop to the ground, or suddenly rise to the sky. Nor it zip off in an unexpected direction. It rose slowly (if a little wobbly), hovered stationery for a while, then landed slowly. For a prototype, it did quite well.

      "flying cars" (which I think might get another moniker)

      Why? "Hoverboards" don't actually hover - they have wheels! Names aren't always a literal depiction of the item.

      no one that has created or planned any such aircraft has shown a single example, that I've seen, that has even a modicum of the safety features that are necessary to sell such a "car" in any first world country that would be the target market.

      The original horseless carriages had almost none of the safety measures in today's automobiles. First, you get the basic machine working. Then you add the safety features. The TV news story I saw about this said that NEC is planning on having these contraptions in the air by the 2030s. That's plenty of time to improve this prototype into a fully functional consumer product, complete with the safety features you're looking for.

      1. [2]
        AugustusFerdinand Link Parent
        Hoverboards as originally described did in fact hover, the product currently being sold under that descriptor is just an obvious grab at a name that already existed for immediate recognition. The...

        Hoverboards as originally described did in fact hover, the product currently being sold under that descriptor is just an obvious grab at a name that already existed for immediate recognition.

        The heaviest Model T weighed half as much as compact sedans today and had a top speed around half of modern highway speed limits in addition to there not being millions of them on the same roads to collide with. The basic machine in this case is a stripped down shell that couldn't get off the ground if the required safety features were applied. It isn't suddenly going to start creating immensely more lift to do so.

        And even then none of those safety features are going to shield the person it crash lands upon.

        1 vote
        1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
          Right. But the point is that the name does not literally describe the product's function - but people bought it anyway. Sometimes manufacturers create names for products in order to create an...

          the product currently being sold under that descriptor is just an obvious grab at a name that already existed for immediate recognition.

          Right. But the point is that the name does not literally describe the product's function - but people bought it anyway.

          Sometimes manufacturers create names for products in order to create an impression in other people's minds. Calling this contraption a "flying car" produces associations with normal cars: they're used for normal people to carry out everyday travel errands across short distances and can be stored at people's homes, unlike aircraft which require special licences, are only good for long distances, and need a special yard to be stored. In this case, the name correctly contextualises the product: it's intended to be an everyday item for ordinary people, rather than an esoteric item for experts.

          The basic machine in this case is a stripped down shell that couldn't get off the ground if the required safety features were applied. It isn't suddenly going to start creating immensely more lift to do so.

          Not suddenly, no. This is, after all, a prototype rather than a market-ready product. The Model T was not the first automobile. The Model T came 20 years after the first automobile, which was also a stripped down shell.

          So, you should wait about 20 years before you can expect this prototype to reach the point where a Model T equivalent is manufactured.

          And even then none of those safety features are going to shield the person it crash lands upon.

          You're making an awful lot of assumptions about what the final product is going to be like, based solely on this prototype. How do you know there won't be some sort of airbag-equivalent underneath flying cars, in order to ensure they have soft crash landings if they fall down, to protect the people below?

  2. Ephemere Link
    That's pretty awesome, I'm ultra curious as to how many of the engines it needs to maintain altitude.

    That's pretty awesome, I'm ultra curious as to how many of the engines it needs to maintain altitude.

    4 votes
  3. babypuncher Link
    The noise pollution these things would generate if they ever became even remotely commonplace would be unbelievable. Anywhere even slightly populated would sound like the 2010 World Cup times a...

    The noise pollution these things would generate if they ever became even remotely commonplace would be unbelievable. Anywhere even slightly populated would sound like the 2010 World Cup times a hundred. throughout most of the day.

    3 votes