Tech Report: The Age of Driverless and Flying Cars!

in engineering •  3 months ago



Image Source: Pitchbook


When it comes to human beings they all have different personal preferences when it comes to transportation. Many of us perform our commute begrudgingly with not many alternatives regarding how we get to work in the morning but others have unusual options when they get creative!

What do you think the future of transportation will look like twenty years down the line? Do you think flying cars is out of the question? What about maglev trains? How about self-driving cars that are managed by AI?

In this article I will go over a few things I've learned in the process of researching the technology of the future and show you some possibilities going forward...

In regard to future transport one of the most likely technological upgrades which we will probably see first is autonomous driving. In only five years the technology behind this futuristic prediction has moved from “maybe possible” to “definitely possible” to “inevitable” to “how did anyone ever think this wasn’t inevitable?”

In fact, there are a ton of large scale auto manufacturers actively competing to perfect the technology required to bring a future of driverless cars about.

Companies like Waymo (a spinoff of Google’s self-driving car project) have been hard at work trying to be the future industry leader in this field. They seemed like they were closing in on a complete monopoly in regard to autonomous self-driving cars until a few big names popped up to give them a bit of stiff competition. I'm talking about companies like Lyft and Uber who would love to trade their expensive human drivers for automated driverless shuttles.

Its not only car companies working towards building this future, large corporations like Intel, IBM, and Apple are also looking to get in on the action as well! There are a lot of components in creating autonomous vehicles and many startups are positioning themselves applying for new patents that involve laser sensors, mapping software, and control center configurations responsible for managing future fleets of self-driving cars.

Image Source: Waym

When I talk about driverless cars, I'm not actually talking about the future. Well, I am but this topic strongly relates to the present because believe it or not, some of these cars have already hit the road! Driverless cars are already prowling the streets of California and Michigan, Paris and London, Singapore and Beijing.

There is a lot of speculation at the moment that driverless tech has the possibility of adding $7 trillion to the global economy and save hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few decades. Personally I feel very conflicted about this new potential future in which driverless cars dominate the roads and I must accept the fact that I'm powerless and completely dependent on this new technology to get me to my destination safely!

Maybe its a good thing, maybe not. A big fundamental shift will take place if this new driverless car reality comes to fruition. Firstly, it will completely devastate the auto industry, gas stations, drive-thrus, taxi drivers, and truckers. Uber and Lift drivers will have to re-enter the job market putting further strain on the unemployment rate. Sure, stockholders of the companies that introduce these new vehicles will prosper but there will be a lot of people out of a job on the other hand. I'm not saying this is going to be a terrible reality but I think we need to consider both sides of the coin carefully. Do we want to support this technology or not?

It’s worth remembering that when automobiles first started rumbling down manure-clogged streets, people called them “horseless carriages.” The moniker made sense: Here were vehicles that did what carriages did, minus the hooves. By the time “car” caught on as a term, the invention had become something entirely new. Over a century, it reshaped how humanity moves, and thus how (and where and with whom) humanity lives. This cycle has restarted, and the term “driverless car” will soon seem as anachronistic as “horseless carriage.” We don’t know how cars that don’t need human chauffeurs will mold society, but we can be sure a similar gear shift is on the way.

The above statement makes a good point about change. We may not be ready for new technologies but eventually humanity and society changes with it and adapts to a new way of doing things. When it comes to driverless technology I don't see how its much different than what was stated above.

The driverless car can indeed be compared to the horseless carriage. Older generations will have a much harder time coping with this new reality while younger generations who are much more comfortable with technology considering the fact they have grown up with smart phones and high tech gadgets will certainly be more open to accepting driverless cars as a simple upgrade to modern transportation.


Image Source: CNET

Self driving cars are great and all but I'm looking for a faster way to get to work here! What do you got for me?

Well based on research I've conducted on this subject the idea of getting around via flying cars in our liftime looks increasingly possible... The future of flying cars looks brighter and brighter as we get close to turning the page on this decade.

In recent news it seems that a comapny called Sampson Sky has announced that it’s now holding 615 reservations for its new Switchblade kit-built, flying sports car!

The company sponsored a Sun ‘n Fun forum a while back about the state of the flying car industry. At the event, visitors had a chance to chat with the Switchblade's creators.

Just two years earlier, the Samson Sky reservation program had been launched at Sun 'n Fun when potential customers saw a sneak peek of the wing swing mechanism for the vehicle. Getting down to the dirty details of it all, the Switchblade is reported to have the power-to-weight ratio of a 2017 Corvette.

People from all over the globe want to get their hands on these based on the fact that the company says the Switchblade reservation list includes enthusiasts from over 15 countries.

Just because they are cool doesn't make them cheap though! Sampson Sky anticipates the price of a VFR Switchblade to be about $140,000.

All of this takes me back and I have memories of watching the movie 'Back to the Future' in the 1990's and being completely amazed. Lets be honest folks, just the idea of a car that could time travel is an exciting proposition.

But my oh my, when I saw the sequel, 'Back to the Future 2' it made me even more excited! In this movie we saw hoverboards, automatic clothing that could dry itself and yes, flying cars!

Even though the Switchblade will cost a pretty penny, it seems incredibly cool and if I had a pilot's license and was in a position to buy one, I do believe I would. A few of its key features that I forgot to mention above include its extendable wings and tail. Beyond the wings and tail being an outstanding feature, when it comes to technical specifications, apparently it can reach altitudes of 13,000ft with a lot of help by its rear-mounted propeller.

Image Source: The Sun

Would you like to own a self-driving car or a flying car if the price was right?

There are some incredible feats of engineering and computer science being applied when it comes to both of the technologies discussed above. I'm on the fence at the moment and I'd honestly want to let the dust settle and let others try out these new technologies first before taking the leap to use one or own one of these vehicles!

This doesn't stop me from wanting to know how you feel about the matter...

Do you see any dangers involved with flying cars or self-driving cars and if so what are they in your opinion?

Which of these new forms of transportation if any seem appealing to you?

Thanks for reading.


Authored by: @techblogger

In-text citations sources:

The WIRED Guide to Self-Driving Cars - Wired

World’s first 200mph flying sports car the Samson Motors’ £90,000 Switchblade is set to soar by next Spring - The Sun

Switchblade Sponsors Flying Car Forum at Sun ‘n Fun 2018 - Flying Mag

CRP Group Makes Progress, Showcases 3D Printed Electric Superbike - 3dPrint

Move over Tesla, this self-driving car will let you sleep or watch a movie during your highway commute - CNBC

Image Sources:

The Sun
Google
Wired
3dPrint
CNET
Pexels

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Big giants have been working on the the project of Self Driving with the help of AI. It is not too far that self driving car would be available for buying.

I would wait for self-flying cars.