I’ve been talking about the possibility of flying cars for a long time. My fascination with them started as a boy watching George Jetson going to work in one. I’ve dreamed of doing the same ever since.
On this site, my earliest post on the subject dates to May 27, 1999 when I wrote about Moller International’s Skycar. In 2007, I spoke with that company’s general manager Bruce Caulkins. In 2013, I spoke with Carl Deitrich, CEO of Terrafugia. Both of them said they would have a flying car ready for consumers in “the next couple of years.”
I’m still waiting.
This week, David Pogue of Yahoo Finance has a piece with demo videos from several companies — including Uber, Google, and a Chinese outfit called eHang — that are developing flying cars or sky taxis or passenger drones. Every one of them looks really cool, with vertical takeoff and landing, but I’ve learned not to hold my breath when it comes to predictions of when their products will be ready for anything more than test flights.
When they are, you can be sure you and I won’t be able to afford to ride in them for several more years. That’s the way it goes with all new technologies. Remember when only rich people had cell phones, and they were huge? Now they’re ubiquitous and small enough to carry in our pockets. While flying cars will never fit in your pants, they’ll someday be affordable and safe enough for consumers like us — but that day won’t come this year, or next.
By the way, when I dream about a flying car, I’m completely selfish. I don’t envision the sky full of people commuting to work and cluttering the air space. I dream about me having a flying car, and no one else. You can stick to the roads — I’ll get there by air.