Sunday, January 11, 2009

Flying in the face of reason?

If you think their driving is bad, wait until you see their flying. In an article today in the Sunday Times, the first official flying car makes its debut. The Terrafugia Transition is taking its maiden flight/drive. According to the Times, it will be available in as little as a year and a half. Way cool.

Flyers beware

It's a nice notion, but on further analysis, is this what we really want to see? It seems like ridiculous car accidents are a regular occurrence. Think of how many times you've seen the local news reporting on a vehicle that plowed through the side of a a store or home. On our way to work each week we invariably rubberneck Kafka-esque accident scenes that defy our imagination. How did that guy in the pickup manage to flip upside down on a straight-away? How did that women overshoot that wide corner and drive all the way to the top of the embankment, only to roll all the way back down?

In the brave new world of flying cars, we have three dimensions to worry about. As if Road Rage wasn't bothersome enough, now we might have to contend with Air Rage, where two bull-headed rush hour lunatics engage in mid-air combat. Professional air traffic control has enough problems dealing with professionally trained pilots and cluttered airspace. It's a logistical nightmare when things are organized.

Flight risks
Are we going to see the days where we get stuck behind a Florida flyer? From behind, all you'll likely see is a big hat and pair of hands at the wheel. 90% of the drivers here in California don't use their blinkers. What's to prevent one of these lunatics from vectoring into your airspace in a commuter fireball.

Don't get me wrong; the Terrafugia is super cool; but unless dedicated chouffeurs are doing the flyving, I think that for the meantime I'll personally stick to regular old cars. Maybe they'll be fitted with a Lexus-like parallel flying feature.

Nice idea, though. Certainly a disruptive concept to keep an eye on...

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