About 60 or 70 years ago,
when people were asked
to imagine how the year 2020 would look,
people imagined futuristic looking cities.
Cars flying in the sky.
Flying cars would have become a reality.
But unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
The reality looks like this today.
While people imagine the year 2020 to look like this.
But do you know what, friends?
Flying cars are something
that’s slowly becoming a reality.
Today, in 2022,
a company in Slovakia,
has successfully tested an actual flying car.
This isn’t a dream for the future,
it is the reality now.
Come, let’s understand this technology
in today’s video.
“If you haven’t noticed lately,
we’re living in the future.
But there’s still one thing that’s conspicuously absent.
“Where are the flying cars?”
“I was promised flying cars.”
“I don’t see any flying cars.”
Would there ever be an aircraft
where you can just jump in,
and be able to take off
and fly where ever you want to?”
Listening to it, friends, it feels like
a flying car is something really futuristic.
but people had started trying to make one about 100 years ago.
The year 1917,
saw the first attempt at building a flying car.
Or perhaps a roadable aeroplane.
An aeroplane that can navigate roads too.
It was named the Autoplane.
This was built by Glenn Curtis.
It was given the title
‘Limousine of the Year.’
But was this flying car actually able to fly?
It’s said that when they tried to fly it
it lifted off the ground
but unfortunately, it couldn’t fly properly.
So the Autoplane turned out to be a failure.
After this, we get to 1933,
when the US Air Commerce Bureau conducted a competition,
called the Flivver Competition.
They challenged people to design an aeroplane
that would cost less than $700 to build.
Many models were submitted in this competition,
and one of these models was of
Designed by Walda Waterman.
This was an aeroplane that looked like a car.
It could take flight
but never went into production,
because they were going through the Great Depression.
There were enough funds to produce it.
But what could be called the first successful attempt
took place in 1945.
American inventor Robert Edison Fulton,
built an aeroplane called the Airphibian.
It looked like a proper aeroplane,
the only difference was that the front of it could be detached.
It took about 5 minutes to convert this aeroplane into a car.
And the resulting car looked like the front of the aeroplane.
For its era, this Airphibian was quite innovative
and it got a flight certification from the Civil Aviation Authority.
But the problem was that,
because of the compromises in the design,
it was neither a good aeroplane,
that could compete with the other aeroplanes.
Nor was it a good car,
that could compete with the other cars.
When it turned into a car, it looked really weird.
To add to it, in 1945, there were financial problems due to World War II.
This company could not find investors for this flying car.
And then came the Convaircar.
Industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss
attempted this in 1947.
This looked like a car stuck with an aeroplane on it.
Airphibian looked like an aeroplane completely.
But this looked as if
the car got stuck to the aeroplane by mistake
and is now flying with it.
It too took 5 minutes to convert from an aeroplane to a car.
And by converting, it meant
detaching the aeroplane part and keeping it aside.
And then it could be used as a car.
It was a great idea for its time.
And in its third test flight,
this Convaircar crashed.
The pilot checked the reading on the meter,
and thought that there was enough fuel
and that he could continue flying,
and though the car did have enough fuel,
there was very little in the aeroplane’s tank.
It led to this unfortunate crash.
After this crash, people lost confidence in it.
And the investors backed out.
The problem with these attempts was that
they took a car, and they took an aeroplane,
and they tried to combine them as they were.
A true flying car would be one
that could actually transform from an aeroplane to a car.
The two can’t simply be combined
merely to detach the part of the aeroplane when the car is used.
Morton Taylor was the first person
to decide to work on the design of Airphibian,
and to make the wings of the Airphibian foldable.
So that when it has to be used as a car,
the wings can be folded
and stored behind the car.
This came true in the year 1949.
It was named Taylor’s Aerocar.
They got the certification,
the approval for mass production,
but the problem was that
they needed at least 500 advance orders
before mass production could begin.
But there weren’t enough people interested in it.
So they couldn’t get the orders.
So the deal had to be cancelled.
At one point, the company Ford was quite close
to buying this Taylor Aerocar.
But that deal couldn’t be finalised either.
There was a scarcity of funds
but perhaps a bigger problem was
the lack of technological advancement.
We didn’t have the technology
to build a true flying car.
neither do we lack funds,
and the technology has moved by leaps and bounds since the 1950s.
So the recent attempts at building a flying car,
have been amazing.
They are truly futuristic.
In October 2021,
a Swedish company called Jetson Aero,
presented their Jetson 1 Airplane to the world.
As you can see,
it doesn’t look like a car at all,
rather it can be called an extra-large drone.
Because it flies just like a drone.
A person sits inside it and pilots it around.
It is a single-seater vehicle.
Only one person can sit inside it.
They had started working on it in 2017.
The first prototype was ready in January 2018
and it had its first successful flight too.
But they introduced their company
and presented their 2nd generation prototype to the world.
In October 2021.
Its speciality is its design.
A helicopter needs a helipad to take off
but this is so compact,
so small that it can land on your roof
and take off from your neighbourhood garden as well.
To keep it lightweight,
its frame is made of aluminium.
And it weighs only 86kg.
It is very light.
And the person sitting in it,
can weigh up to 95kg.
Perhaps the most interesting thing is that
you wouldn’t need a pilot’s license to fly it.
Because according to the US Laws,
there is no need for a pilot’s license,
for a home-built, single-seater aircraft.
Since it is a single-seater aircraft,
only one person can sit in it,
and it’s home-built too
because if you buy it,
it’ll reach you 50% assembled.
You can order it from anywhere in the world,
the way that the company ships this to you,
you need to assemble it yourself.
So it comes under the category home-built.
With this, the legal hassles for the company reduce.
Because the company would no longer be responsible in case of accidents.
Because you have put it together.
Jetson 1 is truly very futuristic,
but it cannot be practically used much.
Because you can’t fly it at night.
You can’t fly it over city traffic.
Because these are restricted airspace.
it is quite difficult to fly a camera drone nowadays,
it will be very difficult to get permission to fly this.
But their co-founder, Peter Ternstrom, has said that
they aren’t trying to solve a problem in the world
they are simply promoting it as a fun activity.
He claims that it is fun to fly it.
You can guess the origins of the name of the company, Jetson.
If you recall, The Jetsons used to be a cartoon show a while ago.
And the futuristic aircraft used by the Jetsons to travel
looked somewhat like this.
So they tried to copy that design
and took inspiration from it.
So this Jetson 1 cannot be termed as a proper flying car.
Because it can run on the roads.
But there’s another company in Slovakia.
They presented their Aircar to the world last month.
It is a flying car in true essence.
Friends, it is very clear
that to build such technology,
we need skilful engineers and out of the world innovation.
Unfortunately, innovative things of this level
can be rarely seen in countries like India.
A huge reason for this is that
there are many engineers with degrees in India
but they lack the skills that are actually needed to do a job properly.
More than 90% of the engineers in India
aren’t employable due to this.
Thankfully, there are some companies
that are helping software engineers to become more skilled.
Scaler.com is a tech school
where the subject matter experts from the top tech companies teach students.
They share their industry experience with the learners.
They focus on college students and working professionals
so that they can be upskilled.
Especially with their one-on-one mentorship programs.
They focus on making them more skilful.
They claim that in 2020-2021,
more Scaled learners got placement in Amazon
compared to all the IITs combined.
They provide the learners with every tool
with which they can become more skilled
and can further their careers.
If you are interested,
you can check out scaler.com through the link given in the description below.
I’d recommend their Software Development Course
and the Data Science course.
They would help you achieve the right fundamentals
and you would get basic problem-solving skills.
Let’s return to the topic.
So what’s special about the AirCar?
It completed its first intercity flight in June last year.
From the international airport Nitra
to the Bratislava airport.
Both cities are in Slovakia.
And Slovakia is an Eastern European country.
Last month, the Transport Authority of Slovakia,
gave it clearance for take-off.
It received the Certificate of Airworthiness.
The European Aviation Safety Agency’s
all testing safety standards are obeyed by this flying car.
This is the first flying car to actually look like a flying car.
They used a BMW car as a base
and have attached wings to it.
The attempts of 60-70 years ago
was when they tried to stick a part of the aeroplane to a car.
But this is the first attempt
where the wings come out of the car.
No special fuel is needed to fly it.
The petrol that you get at the petrol station
is enough to fly this car.
Because a 1.6l BMW engine is fitted inside it.
While flying, this AirCar can reach a height of 8,000 feet.
And it can fly at the speed of 190 km/hr.
And a maximum of 2 people can sit in the car.
And to transform from an aeroplane to a car,
it takes only 3 minutes.
This is the way it transforms.
The wings can be folded to the back.
And everything’s automatic.
There’s no need to unscrew anything or to separate anything.
It is all in one piece.
You can see the wings going into the back of the car slowly
and it is transforming into a compact car.
On the road, this AirCar would look like this.
It looks like a normal car on the road almost.
But it is a little overboard at the back.
It isn’t bad.
Because some cars are long at the back.
One thing’s certain
to fly this, you would need a pilot’s license.
because it needs a proper runway to take off.
This AirCar has completed more than 200 takeoffs and landings
so there’s no doubt that it is a successful flying car.
If you want to buy it,
how much would you need to pay?
It’s said that its price will start from $500,000 ranging to $1 million,
depending upon the model you want to buy.
And within 12 months,
it will become commercially available.
Meaning, you can buy it in the market then.
The founder of Jetson 1 had said that
they see their aircraft as a means to have fun.
It’s supposed to be used by people as a fun activity.
But the company that has made the AirCar,
they believe that this AirCar,
will replace helicopters in the future.
Because the internal combustion engine of a normal car is used in it,
it would mean that it’s very energy efficient.
Normally, to fly helicopters and aeroplanes,
a lot of fuel is used.
They need special fuel.
But since this AirCar can fly with a car’s engine,
it would mean that in the future,
it wouldn’t be very difficult to use the engine of an electric car
to fly this AirCar.
It means that,
a fully electric AirCar can be possible.
It will be good for the environment
in comparison to helicopters and normal airplanes.
The most important question to arise here is;
What’s the need for this?
Can there be a practical use for these flying cars?
The most important use for these flying cars is said to be
for emergency services.
Such as for ambulances, fire engines or for the police.
One advantage would be that it would be easier to use than helicopters.
And there’s no need to build separate infrastructure for them.
Railway tracks need to be laid for trains,
tunnels have to be dug for metros,
roads need to be built for cars,
but for the flying cars, the same infrastructure can be used
that already exist.
Another major advantage of these is that
these are very flexible.
Talking about Jetson 1 aircraft,
they can land and take off from anywhere.
We will get end-to-end connectivity here.
And obviously the environmental impact,
can be reduced drastically
because normally, cars take a long time to cover long distances
but flying cars would be able to do it faster.
And they’ll consume less energy as well.
But if you talk about their disadvantages,
perhaps they have more disadvantages than advantages.
The first is that
Do we really need flying cars?
Let’s compare it with the cars.
Nowadays, cars have become very common,
in almost every city of every country in the world.
Everyone needs to take a driving test to get a driver’s license.
But despite that,
many people drive irresponsibly,
there are accidents,
so many people die in traffic accidents around the world.
If people can’t learn to drive properly on the road,
will they be able to learn to fly properly?
It’ll be 10 times more difficult.
It’ll have 10 times more scope of causing accidents.
And if an accident does occur mid-air,
it would be that much more deadly.
This is a very serious issue
how many people would need to get sufficient pilot training
to fly these?
A solution to this problem can be
automated flying cars.
That the flying cars fly automatically with interference from the pilot.
Like the automated cars nowadays,
Tesla already has these features
where the car can drive itself.
If such self-driving flying cars are made,
only then can this problem be avoided.
But talking about Tesla,
Elon Musk believes flying cars to be a bad idea.
Because according to him,
when there will be thousands of cars flying in the sky,
somewhere or other there’ll be an accident
and if one of those cars fell on someone’s head,
that person will die instantly.
The risk of people losing their lives in these accidents is very high.
And normally, when your car breaks down,
you park it at the side of the road to check it.
But if your car breaks down in the sky, where would you park it?
These problems would increase in bad weather.
Imagine that you are flying your car,
and it is very windy,
or there’s a thunderstorm,
suppose there’s a lot of turbulence.
Normally, since the aeroplanes are much larger
they can bear it.
But in smaller private jets,
there’s an increased threat from turbulence and bad weather.
And since the flying cars wouldn’t be very big,
they’ll face the same threats.
After this, there’s also the problem of safety.
It’s true that no new infrastructure is needed for a couple of flying cars,
but if thousands of cars fly in the sky,
a new system of traffic lights will need to be put up.
Such as the ones for cars.
Since the cars will be flying in all directions, there’s a dire need for traffic lights.
Newt technical standards would need to be enforced,
so that the flying cars could communicate with each other
so that there aren’t collisions and crashes.
But it wouldn’t be easy to do this.
Because today, it is so difficult for governments to make regulations for drones.
That the governments take to banning drones.
And these drones merely fly to take aerial photos and videos.
To do so for the flying cars,
how difficult it would be from the government’s perspective,
you can already imagine it.
Then comes the problem of noise pollution.
If you have flown any small drone,
you would have noticed the loud sound while flying it.
Or if you’ve gone closer to a helicopter,
it is on the next level.
That’s why you need to put on headphones in the helicopter.
These same problems exist for flying cars.
These problems exist in Jetson 1 and AirCar too.
It creates a lot of noise.
It is so noisy that it isn’t practical to use it in the urban environment now.
To deal with this, a new technological innovation is needed.
So that the noise level of the flying cars can be reduced to a bearable extent.
Apart from noise, another area which needs some innovation is the
fast charging technology.
Nowadays, drones can be flown for up to 20 minutes only.
How long would the flying cars last in the air?
With the present technology,
it can fly up to 50 km only.
after that, they would need to be charged or refuelled.
And it takes up a lot of time.
These are the practical problems
that need to be solved in the future
for this technology to be successful.
Even if all these problems are solved,
the final problem to arise here
would be the cost.
After so many innovations,
the final price of the flying car,
would be at a level where people would actually want to buy it?
Will it be practical for people to buy it?
Now the AirCar costs around $1 million,
if the cost isn’t affordable,
it would be very difficult for it to be truly successful.
This is valid for any new technology.
If the competing technologies are offered at a much better cost,
the competing technologies would be the ones to be successful in the future.
If travelling by cars, trains and aeroplanes is at a much lower price,
in comparison to flying cars,
then the flying cars would never be successful.
What is your opinion?
And I hope you found this video informative.
The link to download scaler is in the description below.
If you like this, there are more such videos in this playlist.
Let’s meet in the next video.
Thank you very much!