BY KEITH TUCKER
Special to The Enterprise
There are more than 10 companies currently developing some version of a flying car in multiple countries. First to market is going to be the Jetson coming in at under a $100,000. It’s available for pre-order and looks pretty good. They are vertical take offs and landings. Battery life is at 20 minutes at 55 miles per hour now, but other companies will have up to an hour battery life at speeds up to 135 miles per hour. Twenty- or 30-mile commutes that are taking an hour in traffic is now a 20-minute hassle free ride over the top of everyone. That’s got to be an exhilarating feeling and I can just see the frustrated Joe sitting in traffic looking up and thinking, “oh yeah that’s gonna be me.”
The Jetson has obstacle avoidance software, and I am sure self-driving models are right around the corner. The current licensing laws just don’t take this kind of vehicle into account. Look for additional legislation to be forthcoming to address this issue.
Currently one must have a medical review to drive/fly one. I can see a rush to get one for those who face traffic gridlock in city traffic each day from the suburbs. The Jetson looks pretty safe with the multiple motor setup where it would still fly with one or two motors out. There is a video out if you want to see one fly; just Google Jetson flying car. I can see a taxi or uber business right off the bat.
If you have looked at the sticker price of new cars lately these things are not way out of that range. But with anything that moves there will be crashes, but since we have become complacent about dying in a car crash so as long as we think it’s as safe as possible, we will accept the risks. I predict that the safety statistics will come in at lower accidents per mile than automobiles.
It might even free up some more room on the freeway. I look for new regulations to develop skyways where you have to follow a certain path at a certain altitude, otherwise if everyone gets to go in any direction and any height, well have you ever seen rush hour in India?
I just can’t wait to see some tricked-out units with cow horns up front, air horns to honk, fuzzy dice and those trailer receivers with a cow bell and a couple of bells hung down.
Editor’s note: Keith Tucker is a Greenfield resident and owner of The Marble Shop.