They may not fold up into a briefcase as they did for George Jetson, but flying cars may not be too far away, explains a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
And that means sorting out “appropriate roles of federal, state, and local authorities,” says Bart Elias, a specialist in aviation policy at the Congressional Research Office.
It’s because they’ll be flying in public airspace and over large concentrations of bystanders, who have a right not to be endangered.
“Until recently … small hovercraft and drone-like air taxis existed only as prototype concepts and amateur-built curios,” he wrote.
But advances in design, propulsion, computer control and autonomous systems mean they soon could become reality.
“While Massachusetts-based Terrafugia has been working for more than a decade to develop a street-legal car that can transition to a flying machine, Chinese drone manufacturer EHang has developed a prototype autonomous single-seat quadcopter that looks similar to a scaled-up version of smaller personal drones that the company sells,” the report said.
German maker Velocopter and a startup with links to Google also are beginning tests.
Airbus, Embraer, Bell, Rolls-Royce and a Boeing subsidiary have launched programs.
“They are being designed specifically to transport people relatively short distances (roughly 5 to 25 miles) in urban areas with highly congested roadways,” he reported.
They all will be at lower altitudes, and traditional methods of controlling air traffic, radar and radio communications “are probably not viable.”