A flying car is a special type of vehicle which can be used for both road and air transport. It is also known as roadable aircraft, personal air vehicle, and dual-mode vehicle. With combined features of an automobile and an aircraft, the flying vehicle can overcome common transport problems like heavy traffic. Also, the vehicle is made up of safety devices and propellers for flight.
Aerial cars are classified into two categories which are – manned or piloted and unmanned, autonomous, or self-piloted. And they can come with different passenger accommodation including 2 seaters, 3 seaters, and 4 seaters. In the coming years, these flying cars are expected to possess vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) mechanics. This way, they will not require runways before take-off and landing.
In 2021, flying cars reached a global market size of about $55 million. But it was expected that the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the market just like how it affected the global economy. Surprisingly, it does not seem like the flying cars market has gone anywhere near the drain, following the shocking increase in demand during the pandemic.
According to Fortune Business Insights, the global market will expand by 364% in 2022. Between 2022 and 2040, the market is projected to expand from $255.37 million to $1.53 trillion, at a CAGR of 58.1%. Factors contributing to the growth of this market include the increase in people’s disposable income, urban development, high accident rates, increasing population, improved standard of living, and the need for eco-friendly vehicles.
Evolution of Transportation
The future of travel, employment, and living could be impacted by flying automobiles, which is a definite possibility. Various personal flying vehicles, from electric gliders to fixed-wing aircraft and quadcopter drones, have been developed in response to advances in battery energy density, materials science, and computer simulation.
Most importantly, compared to other forms of transportation, these automobiles allow for quicker commutes for people, especially in congested locations.
Flying Cars Market Limitations
The flying market is still quite undeveloped right now. The expanding sector, which could be worth up to $1.53 trillion by 2040, is attracting the attention of venture capitalists as well as auto and aviation companies. Many startup businesses compete to create commercial jetpacks, flying motorcycles, and personal air taxis. Also, aviation authorities are now working up the rules and safety requirements that will control this new type of transportation.
According to Takako Wada, a SkyDrive representative, despite having options like electric automobiles or quick substitutes like the [France’s intercity] TGV train, humans still need to solve the traffic problem.
Vertical Take Off Landing (VTOL) concepts and hypothetical altitudes that could be attained with them abound in this young sector. Businesses like Lillium, Wisk, Joby Aviation, Bell, and countless others are profiting from advances like electric propulsion, which significantly lowers noise emissions, and battery power, which increases range. Indeed, those developments allow many aircraft designers to scream for airtime practically.
What Should Be Done?
According to Parimal Kopardekar, head of NASA’s Aeronautics Research Institute at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, “the dream of air travel has been around for a long time. There is a significant possibility to build vehicles that can deliver products and services where present aviation cannot.”
As such, developers must consider several aspects including aircraft, airspace, infrastructure, community integration, weather patterns, GPS, noise rules, maintenance, supply chain, and components acquisition. Before widespread aerial ridesharing becomes a reality, several important but occasionally obscure problems must be resolved.
Reimagining human flight involves not only flying safe machines and “road legal” but also a populace that is open to using them. Industry leaders must persuade passengers that flying cars are appealing not just because the technology is feasible but also because it is safer and more efficient than other forms of transportation.
Although fully automated vertical transit with a track record may reassure the public, a huge network of flying objects poses new difficulties. While VTOLs will eliminate the need for runways and on-ground parking, they will still need special air corridors and sky harbors to store their aircraft. Air taxis may lessen the number of cars on the road and improve the predictability of arrival and departure times, but the sheer number of objects in the sky, including buildings, birds, delivery drones, and airplanes, will require pilots to practice a new type of dynamic obstacle avoidance.
Without a suitable designation, the “Skyway” will require its own set of legislation. Also, the manufacturers and operators must demonstrate the safety of passengers and others on the ground below.
The results might change how we commute and live. Kopardekar observes that “right now, most people maximize living depending on access to transportation. VTOLs and drones will make it feasible to reach people wherever they are, to optimize transportation based on living.” Businesses will not have to locate their corporate offices in major business areas, and staff can live anywhere accessible by air taxi. The cost and availability of owning a flying car could match that of bicycles.
Traffic jams damage the highways that run through our cities and the vehicles we drive on them, causing emissions that, in turn, endanger our health and the sensitive ecosystems of the world. Flying cars will significantly cut pollution or reliance on diesel fuel in the meantime.