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Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?

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Mike Perkins
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re: Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?
Mike Perkins   4/7/2009 9:25:23 PM
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As a pilot and embedded systems designer, I will point out that the intent of these vehicles is that of ?roadable aircraft,? not flyable cars. I have met the Terrafugia people and they are clear it is made for pilots who wish to get around, not drivers who want to buzz around. Besides, the TSA (a.k.a thousands standing around) will make airport access by small aircraft owners impractical in the near future if they have their way. It will mark the first time that personal conveyance will be regulated in the US, where you have to actually ask for permission to go somewhere. There is plenty of sanity among the Terrafugia people ? they are realists. Better to watch for the bureaucrats who only have their jobs to protect and the public to herd.

SPLatMan
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re: Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?
SPLatMan   4/4/2009 1:13:02 AM
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To the editor or webmaster: PLEASE include some instructions on formatting posts, or get a true WYSIWYG editor. It is so annoying having some post appear with no paragraph breaks, and some with quotation marks converted to weird characters.
If we knew the rules we could get it right.

SPLatMan
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re: Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?
SPLatMan   4/4/2009 1:08:21 AM
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When I first read this article I thought "this is spot on". The nightmare vision of a sky full of dopey 3D drivers is beyond contemplation.

But then I realised that such technological possibilities should be viewed in the light of the positive changes they may offer.

Our society is obsessed with the availability and ownership of personal point to point transportation, i.e motor cars. We embed vast quantities of resources into vehicles that spend most of their time not being used, then we consume further resources to move them inefficiently from place to place with ourselves - in energy terms - as incidental cargo. We build new, sprawling suburbs and in so doing neglect public transport infrastructure. When the roads get clogged we say ?oops? and bang in another freeway.

Is this any more sane than flying vehicles?

So, imagine a world where the freeways are replaced by high speed railways. People get to and from the railway stations by summoning a fully automatic flying taxi. The stations don?t need huge car parks. People don?t need to personally own 2 tons of steel and plastic. One aerial taxi can service perhaps 50 people (rather than close to 1 car per adult). The fully automatic control of the taxis should not be beyond the wit of Embedded Man. The only possible down side is that the fuel consumption of a flying vehicle will (probably) always exceed that of a ground vehicle.

I am not saying this is the specific transportation model we should aim for. What I am asking for is that we keep an open mind about the relationship between research, product concepts and practical applications.

daleinaz
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re: Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?
daleinaz   4/1/2009 6:51:19 PM
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Well, the "flying car" is in fact an airplane and will be regulated by the FAA as such, so it will require a PILOT'S license, not a DRIVER'S license. Pilot's licenses require a bit more training and knowledge than just showing your birth certificate and paying $20. Still, point well taken, think of all the accidents that occur on the roads and freeways every day, do you want those ocurring over your house??

Niki_Nonsense
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re: Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?
Niki_Nonsense   3/26/2009 3:46:26 PM
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Also, it would be too expensive for everyone to have so it would only be pilots, rich businesspeople, and non-Paris-Hilton-like celebrities. It wouldn't replace the car. It's only made for trips of over 100 miles. You can only land them at the airport.

Niki_Nonsense
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re: Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?
Niki_Nonsense   3/26/2009 3:43:58 PM
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Also, they're going to be too expensive for everyone to have. Most likely it'll be businesspeople and celebrities. Oh wait... that includes Paris Hilton. They wouldn't give her a pilot's license though.

Niki_Nonsense
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re: Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?
Niki_Nonsense   3/26/2009 3:40:19 PM
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I second what Schref said.

Schref
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re: Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?
Schref   3/23/2009 4:49:05 PM
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"Does This 'Journalist' Need A Reality Check?" well im certenly glad that there wasnt a second devoted to research other than reading a press release. if there was any research whatsoever the author would have found out that you need a flight licence in addition to a road licence to pilot this aircraft, specifically a Light Sports Aircraft (LSA) licence, or better. i would suggest if you continue to write articles for this site that you leave "the other part of your brain" at home, and actually put forth some effort, and do some verifible research before you publish rubbish like this current article.

Zr2ee
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re: Counterpoint: Does innovation need a reality check?
Zr2ee   3/22/2009 8:33:38 AM
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with both of my parents being commercial pilots i can easily tell you that it takes alot of hours of flight time and alot of training on instrumentations, weather patterns, flight safety, air space regulations, radio communications etc. before you can get your licence currently...flying cars may work today but the infastructure to make them commercially viable to everyday consumers is a long ways off. there are just so many things that would have to be put in place to make it safe and possible, (virtual sky highways, collision avoidance systems, weather pattern avoidance blah blah blah) either the technology needs to be perfected or we are going to need alot of training

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