It's the like the Jetsons!
February 2, 2006 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Suck it, Moller Sky Car! After 25 years of promising to bring me my flying car at a reasonable price, I'm stuck with a fricking scale model???? Enough. I'm taking my fantasy sky car anticipatory business across town to the good folks at Urban Aeronautics!
posted by jonson (16 comments total)
That looks like a car out of a Pixar movie knock off...
posted by guruguy9 at 9:41 AM on February 2, 2006

The Urban Aeronautics car looks like it belongs in Bladerunner.
posted by pombe at 9:42 AM on February 2, 2006

No exposed rotars, making it immune to the dangers of electrical wires and other obstacles?
posted by Witty at 9:44 AM on February 2, 2006

I miss the days of traffic jams and carpool lanes, road rage and commuter fatigue. Most of you may not remember, but back then we spent a lot of our time in traffic - sitting on a barely moving highway, glowering at the people next to us or eying them for hawtness. It was the last gasp of urban community.

Now, I spend most days without really interacting with another person, possibly other than collegues at work - though most days I walk from the landing pad to my cube then back in 8 hours with barely a word exchanged. If I don't have everything I need in the pantry stocked from my web store, I may fly over to the megamart, pay with my card, and flit home with nary an utterance.

I came to the city as a young man, so it was new to me. I hadn't grown up with it, and I think that made me experience it in a way the lifers couldn't. To be sitting in that serpentine mob of cars, all trying to get different places but somehow all going the same way - it felt to me like being a blood cell in a coursing, thumping artery. A little leaf or drop of water in a surging stream. The rhythms and tempo of traffic were as background music to my life, and I knew when to avoid the worst of it - that thursday evenings all the patterns were offset back a few hours as everyone worked late on the stuff they wanted to finish that week. You felt like you were a part of some huge ogranism you couldn't see. I used to wonder if when the first multicellular life arose, there weren't single celled organisms comprising it but not yet fully subsumed, looking around and thinking "wow, look at all of us! It's amazing how well coordinated we've gotten - but boy, have you noticed how bad traffic has gotten?"

Now we zip through the skies, our networked nav systems carefully keeping us from interacting with each other, unimpeded by the needs and living patterns of anyone around us. I miss the frustrating rush of swimming through busy streets - the yelling, fist-shaking, smiling and thankful waving of a busy street corner. The meaty, thick flux of intertwined and interacting lives that made up Traffic back when we didn't all have our own flying cars. I miss the Good Old Days of traffic reports on the radio and seeing my boss cursing and yelling or bobbing her head to ridiculous music, stuck there next to me in traffic.
posted by freebird at 10:05 AM on February 2, 2006

Where is my flying car? I was promised flying cars!

(the first time Avery Brooks said this on television, I shot milk out of my nose)
posted by redbeard at 10:05 AM on February 2, 2006

Your flying car?

It's down in Australia! Or maybe not?
posted by JB71 at 10:28 AM on February 2, 2006

freebird, your name and your comment mesh perfectly.
posted by brundlefly at 10:40 AM on February 2, 2006

Waiiit a minute...

Think about the dorks we run into on a daily basis who have obvious trouble dealing with 2 dimensions (1.5, really). Now make it 3 dimensions, throw in the omnipresent and aggresive force of gravity and have them careening in the air over you living room.

"The sky is falling, and flipping me the bird all at the same time!"
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:51 AM on February 2, 2006

Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M was out and about one day flying and happy and yellow. All suddenly, Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M saw a car accident that blocked traffic for an entire city block! Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M laughed. The funnyness increased when he saw the ambulance had taken the wrong street to get to the accident and ended up on the opposite side so Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M flew down and landed near the scene to help, "Ambulance is just a block away. Be here soon!" Then he flew off proud, to have done his civic duty.

Then Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M saw the strangest thing. It looked like someone had invented gigantic dusty pillow cushion material that could defy gravity and was being dispensing it into the sky. Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M went to check it out but it turned out it was just a building on fire.

Then Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M saw a police cop chasing a speeder who looked to be going about 18 mph. The speeder evaded police cop who could only seem to manage 15 mph. So Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M chased down the speeder and unexpectedly landed in front of him and to cut him off. Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M said, "You are no match for Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M!" and then flew off.

It is always a happy, yellow day when you drive Super Happy Yellow Fun Flying Car N3209M. Buy today!
posted by effwerd at 11:24 AM on February 2, 2006

Moller seems to be hammered - but I remember reading about them long ago in Wired... and they had a working prototype THEN. Urban Aeronautics seems to have whipped up a CG rendering of an ugly flying car... and what appears to be a vertically orientated people chipper.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:48 AM on February 2, 2006

From the Skycar webshop:

License Plate Cover $15.00
This license plate cover features the proclamation that "My Next Car Will Be A Skycar." Made of a durable plastic in black with red type.

Yup, it'll need to be bloody durable...

What all this people (and I know both Skycar's and Urban Aeronautics' tech pretty well) don't quite get is that their biggest problem is not technical, but regulatory: no matter how easy they make them to flight (the Skycar is probably a real pig, anyway), in the eyes of the authorities these will still be aircraft. So, the owners will have to get at least a Private Pilot's Licence (and probably a rotorcraft one). Furthermore, air traffic control doesn't like aircraft in urban areas. Finally, even if you pass the regulatory gauntlet, you'll have to insure the bloody things. Don't expect that to be cheap...
posted by Skeptic at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2006

I'm telling you, man, the way to go is mini, personal dirigibles, the bumper cars of the sky. Let's see if people can master blimps - training wheels for the transition from 2D driving to 3D - before turning jet cars over to them, okay?

At 30mph a personal mini-blimp makes surprisingly good time - no traffic stops, no need to follow roads. And what's the worst thing that can happen? You could fly ever-so-slowly right into an office building, smudge a window and distract a few employees from work while they try to point you in the right direction.

Personal mini-blimps are also economic: they pay for themselves if you put advertising on them; you don't need a ticket to see a football in person anymore.
posted by Davenhill at 2:03 PM on February 2, 2006

Metafilter: "Suck it" is the new "I for one welcome our new yadda yadda overlords..."
posted by Effigy2000 at 2:08 PM on February 2, 2006

There's always Kevin Smith's short film on the subject to tide you over until the flying car really does arrive...
posted by fairmettle at 4:56 PM on February 2, 2006

Where is my flying hybrid? I was promised flying hybrids!
posted by NewBornHippy at 7:04 PM on February 2, 2006

Flying pancakes.
posted by Goofyy at 3:49 AM on February 3, 2006

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