Flying Cars: Why We May Never Have Them


Just now·4 min read

For years, people have been wondering when the general public will have access to flying cars. Even now, these magical machines that combine air and ground travel are in development all across the globe. Since the early 20th century, people have been trying to build flying cars — so why don’t we have them now?

The Design

The problem is, for a car to have wings and takeoff like a normal airplane, it would need a lot of open space, and preferably a proper runway. This contradicts the main argument for having flying cars in the first place: congested city traffic. If a car needs a long stretch of road to takeoff, then it is unsafe for that car to attempt a takeoff in a crowded city. To circumvent this, companies have started designing cars that are similar to drones, so they are able to take off vertically and don’t need a long stretch of road to get into the air.

Safety and Regulations

For safety and regulations, car-planes must be certified by both the DOT and the FAA in the United States to ensure they are safe. There are many steps that companies have to go through to even be considered for getting their vehicles certified. As more prototypes for flying cars are being built, manufacturers are finding that it’s very complicated to build a vehicle that can easily transition from the road to the skies, and be safe doing so.

Are Underground Tunnels a Better Idea?

The Boring Company, founded by Elon Musk, is working on tunnels under cities to transport cars. While it would be bleak and a bit dark for passengers, they could get to their destination much faster. From the surface, cars will drive onto platforms which will lower them down to varying levels. Afterwards, the car will be properly secured to the moving platform and it will be taken on its way at speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour, about 130 miles per hour.

Going Green

The benefit to flying cars is that almost all prototypes and designs so far have been fully electric. This means that flying cars will be saving consumers money on gas, as well as saving the planet as a whole and cutting down on climate change. This also means that users will have the ability to charge their vehicles at their houses or wherever they choose to keep them.

Vertical Takeoffs

In a crowded city, vertical takeoffs are the way to go for flying cars. However, it is immensely complicated to create a vehicle that is both compact enough to drive on the road and has enough power to takeoff vertically. This is where the design of the electric battery is crucial. Companies are constantly trying to reduce the size and weight of their batteries while also increasing the power. It is a difficult task, but one they don’t take lightly.

In the Future

In conclusion, the design and testing of flying cars have already cost companies tens of millions of dollars, and no one has truly mass-produced anything yet. So this begs the question, is it worth it? The short answer to this question is yes, it is. According to Morgan Stanley Research, the market for urban air mobility is expected to reach $1.5 trillion by 2040. Upon their arrival to the public, flying cars will not be what past movies and media has portrayed them to be. In fact, they will be more like large drones than anything else. Eventually, flying cars will become available for the public, but they will be expensive considering all the money that was poured into their initial design.