“Mark my word: a combination airplane and motorcar is coming. You may smile, but it will come.”
In 1940, Henry Ford gave a famous prediction. That was indeed an odd prediction at that time. But time has changed since. Many multinational companies like Airbus, eVolvo, Ehang and a joint collaboration of Uber and NASA are investing a lot of time and money to put flying cars up in the sky within next year.
Not a Fiction
Most of us have watched science fiction movies and felt amazed when we saw some weird and how-is-that-possible stuff. Flying cars and drones is one of them. And we wonder if we can experience such things in our lifetime. Well, in simple language, you can. Speaking in the world web summit Lisbon, Uber CEO unveiled an agreement with NASA that advances the company’s plan to bring flying vehicles. Even if they are basically giant drones, the vehicles can carry four passengers and fly at a top speed of 200 mph.
But the major concern question is safety. Any potential passenger will want to know: “How safe is this contraption?”. He said, “The likely answer right now is ‘Not very much'”. Companies are working feverishly to make their aircraft “safe enough” in the hope of convincing regular users and governments that the vehicles can be entrusted with human lives. But these are incredible safety challenges. One of the biggest is what to do when things go badly wrong. Another challenge scientists face is the automation of the cars. Whether full control should be given to car’s AI or not. Whether a public user, like you and me, can be trained well enough to fly them. So, If poorly trained flyers/pilots were the concern, more automation might be the answer.
Undergraduate Civil Engineering Student at IOE Pulchowk. Interested in civil engineering discoveries and inventions.