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Flying Cars Could Be a Reality Soon: But Do We Really Want Them?

Navigating the Future: The Pros and Cons of Flying Cars

By Randy MastersPublished 8 months ago 5 min read
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

In the world of hydrogen-fueled dreams, 2024 might just be the year we all become high-flying roadsters. Recent buzz suggests that commercially available flying cars are on the horizon.

As an added plus, NASA's propulsion technology could be the secret sauce to making fantasy flying machines a reality.

But navigating the wild skies won't be all smooth sailing - managing this new form of air traffic is sure to be quite a dilemma.

Astronomically Costly

Now, not everyone will be soaring above the clouds like a futuristic superhero. Most folks won't be able to afford flying cars (the first models will be at least $300,000), so electric vehicles and self-driving cars on regular roads will still be the norm.

But it's still fun to imagine the thrill of zooming through the air like Doc Brown in the "Back to the Future" movies.

And it's not just about personal transport. Flying cars could revolutionize how we transport goods and packages, potentially taking the world of logistics to new heights.

"Mark my words: a combination [of an] airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come."

- Henry Ford (1940)

The FAA Gives a Green Light

Last June, the FAA gave the green light to Alef Aeronautics' flying car model, granting it a "Special Airworthiness Certificate," which sounds whimsical. This means it's now certified for takeoff in select locations for exhibitions, research, and development.

Alef's journey started back in 2015, and they unveiled their first full-size flying car prototype, the Model A, in 2019. This snazzy road-legal car can carry two passengers, boasts a 200-mile driving range, and can fly up to 110 miles.

It looks like a regular car but has a trick up its sleeve - it can transform into a biplane midflight! The doors even turn into wings! It's like something out of a sci-fi flick.

However, not many folks have seen the Model A in action yet. There are technological hurdles to clear, like specialized propeller motor systems that don't even exist yet.

Plus, there are size, weight, and cost constraints to consider. But fear not, Alef aims to start manufacturing these marvels by 2025 or early 2026. You can even pre-order one (for a hefty $300,000, though they plan to make it more affordable in the future).

It's classified as an ultralight "low speed vehicle," but don't let that fool you - it's a game-changer.

Alef's flying car is like a celebrity in the making.

Alef's Model A hasn't made a public demonstration flight yet (Credit: Alef)

Moving People and Cargo

Speaking of stars in the sky, have you heard about Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)? It's the catch-all term for air transportation that aims to move people and cargo between places more effectively, especially in currently underserved local, regional, urban, and rural environments. It's like a real-life version of "The Jetsons."

AAM is the hip new way to zip people and stuff around, and it's all about making transportation way snazzier.

But wait - it's not just one thing; it's a whole bag of futuristic goodies for aviation. We're talking about fancy aircraft that take off and land like superheroes (electric vertical takeoff and landing or eVTOL for short).

They're so sleek they make regular planes look like yesterday's news.

And then there's urban air mobility (UAM). When we say UAM, we're talking about AAM's city cousin. Think about air taxis shuttling folks around town like it's a sci-fi movie. It's all about making city life even more convenient, with super automated aircraft zipping around.

Cities are currently rolling out the red carpet with new infrastructure just for AAM. Get ready to see helipads on rooftops and landing zones in unexpected places.

NASA and the FAA are leading the charge, but it's not just the bigwigs. There are tons of creative minds and deep-pocketed investors jumping into the mix, coming up with some wild ideas to make AAM a reality.

And don't worry, the FAA will regulate the development and operations of AAM to make sure it's all safe and secure.

Credit: nasa.gov

The Frightening Reality of Flying Cars

No longer are flying cars the staple of science fiction. But the scary reality is this:

1. Safety issues: Flying cars would require new rules, additional driving and flying education, and would be sharing airspace with other flying cars and planes. This could lead to safety concerns, especially during bad weather.

2. Fear of flying: Some people may already have a fear of flying, which could be exacerbated by the idea of flying in a car. This fear, known as aerophobia or aviophobia, can cause extreme anxiety or panic attacks.

3. Technical difficulties: Flying cars would require complex technology to operate, and breakdowns would be catastrophic. If your car were to break down mid-flight, you'd better have a split-second backup plan. Assuming no air resistance, it takes approximately 7.89 seconds for an object to fall 1,000 feet.

Credit: Canva Pro

Will the U.S. Embrace Flying Cars?

As we inch closer to turning that dream into reality, how are Americans really embracing this airborne revolution?

Well, the folks at American Muscle dove headfirst into the treasure trove of Google's data to uncover which states are buzzing with excitement about the possibility of flying cars.

Key Insights:

  • Colorado takes the lead as the state most enthusiastic about flying cars, boasting a whopping 976 searches per 100,000 residents in the past year.
  • Florida (804) follows closely as the second most intrigued state, trailed by Washington (741) and Nevada (727).
  • The cities of Minneapolis, Seattle, and Denver emerge as the top search hotspots for "flying cars" per 100,000 residents.
  • In July 2023, the FAA gave the green light for testing Alef Automotive's Model A flying car, leading to a 383% surge in online searches for "flying car" across the U.S.

Public Opinions on Flying Cars

While search volume indicates interest, it doesn't necessarily reflect public sentiment.

To dig deeper into how Americans truly feel about flying cars, American Muscle conducted a survey of 1,004 people.

Key Insights:

  • A soaring 52% of Americans express interest in owning a flying car.
  • Generation Z leads the way with 61% keen on owning a flying car, while baby boomers show the least interest at 38%.
  • Only 1 in 4 people are aware of recent industry developments, but among them, 35% are interested in purchasing the Alef Model A.
  • Americans are willing to invest an average of $76,239 in a flying car, though the Model A's current price tag is $300,000.
  • Top auto brands people dream of building flying cars: Toyota, Tesla, and Honda.
  • Most trusted brands to create flying cars: Toyota (43%), Tesla (41%), Honda (33%), BMW (28%), and Mercedes-Benz (25%).
  • 73% of respondents would retake a driver's license test to pilot a flying car.
  • If needed, 70% are ready to obtain a drone license to operate a flying car.
  • Nearly half (48%) believe flying cars will be riskier than conventional vehicles, and 47% think seniors shouldn't operate them.
  • Fuel type is a significant factor: 40% are deterred by gas-powered flying cars, while 58% favor electric and another 60% welcome hydrogen-powered models. Comparatively, only 38% are interested in hydrogen-powered non-flying cars.

The Future of Personal Transportation

Colorado emerges as the epicenter of flying car enthusiasm, with 52% of respondents eager to purchase one, marking a remarkable market potential for this futuristic mode of travel.

The research also spotlights Toyota, Tesla, and Honda as the brands that have captured the public's imagination, paving the way for them to revolutionize the industry.

The Final Analysis

While the dream of flying cars might still seem like the stuff of Philip K. Dick or Ray Bradbury, Alef's FAA recognition marks a significant milestone in the exciting future of air mobility.

Buckle up, because this promises to be a wild ride! 🚀✨

Note: The author published an earlier version of this article on Medium.

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About the Creator

Randy Masters

Attorney, writer, and content creator. I write about passive income, affiliate marketing, AI tools, legal issues, content creation, books, and side hustles. I live in New York City.

See more at www.bestmoneyhustles.com

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