Soon, flying cars will carry passengers in U.S. airspace, such as over Dallas, said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, at a conference in Munich, also marking the date: sometime in the next decade.
Most of us identify flying cars with sci-fi, primarily The Jetson family, or cyberpunk opuses, mostly the Winged Bounty Hunter Los Angeles. It’s no coincidence that they appear in a lot of science-fiction classics.
Uber, on the other hand, wants to make the fantasy a reality as soon as possible. He thinks mainly of flying taxis, in November 2017 he launched the Elevate project (to lift it up in Hungarian). The idea is even earlier, as the company has been preoccupied with the idea of an air taxi service since at least 2016, a plan called uberAir has also been developed for it.
Nothing proves the seriousness of their intent more than working with NASA on an air traffic control system that enables safe autonomous flight. Of course, the feasibility of the idea of a flying car has to be proven, and it can take a long time to develop detailed regulations – and only then can small aircraft come.
Research institutes and companies, on the other hand, are really planning, and Uber is not alone, for example, Aeromobil in Bratislava is also working on such vehicles.
For them to work, the fact that today’s cities, road networks, air corridors, etc. must be taken into account not designed for a mode of transport that does not yet exist. Our roads should be made suitable for the smooth ground and celestial operation of vehicles, they should be integrated into the system, because let us not forget that they are still flying, but still cars.
It will obviously not go without very complex and precise guidelines, without regulation. For air taxi services such as uberAir, for example, stations, landing and take-off points must be designated, otherwise urban traffic can become completely chaotic.
The European Aircraft Carrier Association (EFCA) is optimistic because they believe the regulation is in the most advanced state possible in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel and several European countries. Manufacturers can, in principle, test their ideas.