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Dave Kilman

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A public transportation system based on an information communication system designed to control the traffic flow of self-flying flying cars.

My idea comes from my comment to the TED talk by Bill Ford. [snip] At this stage of thinking about the future of transportation systems, I would expect to hear leaders in the transportation industries speaking about how smart flying cars interact with a smart vehicle communication network to help reduce the kind of problems mentioned in this talk. I have a different idea about planning my trip downtown or to the shopping mall in the future. Instead of planning a trip and having my car helping me reserve my parking spot when I arrive, I plan my trip by calling from my cell phone and registering where I want to go and when. Within minutes a public service flying car arrives to pick me up. Much like how today's airport shuttles take me to and from my parking space, I seldom have to wait more than a few minutes. I rarely need a personal car, because the public transportation system can pick me up and drop me off at most places I want to go. I might have to make a few connections to get to my destination, but I don't mind that. When I do need a personal transport I can easily rent one. I saw another TED talk by Paul Moller saying flying cars will happen sooner than you think. As Ford says, we can't keep building wider and wider highways to accommodate the increases in traffic that the future will bring. I think the next phase in transportation after super highways should have us traveling on super flyways. Instead of pouring tons of concrete for highways, overpasses and bridges, that we will have to continually maintain to sustain into the distant future, we should invest instead in software and better flying vehicles designed with the environment in mind. Which would you prefer to spend your tax dollars on: a publicly operated fleet of flying vehicles that can quickly take you where you want to go, or lots and lots of delays while we reconstruct our ground-based infrastructure? Don't forget the recent public bail out of our auto industry. What do we want? [snip]

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    Jul 11 2011: Rejected!!!

    A public transportation system based on an Infrastructure communication designed to Streamline the traffic flow of all transportation using a Hypersonic High Speed Rail System that creates no pollution and supports communities by supplying infrastructure... accepted!!!

    The concept of "flying Cars" seems to me like a toddlers dream after watching too much Sci Fi.

    It is not only expensive unsustainable and downright silly it is in reality complete and utter nonsense.

    Hypersonic High speed Rail on the other hand is a reality right here right now.

    High speed Rail is for most people a Rail System of maybe 500 kph max.
    But for some HSR is to be faster the aviation and as such challenges the status quo.
    Hypersonic HSR is already a reality and has the power to transform all our lives just as Nikola Teslas AC system did.

    Hypersonic HSR has the power to make all our lives better and creates no pollution whatsoever.
    Yet all the companies above do everything including murder to “protect” their interests.

    Silly Ideas such as "flying cars" are populated while real science and great Ideas are rejected and ousted.

    The once great "American Dream" of Freedom is swept aside by a bubblegum nation where stupidity and idiocy replaced intellectuality and self expression.

    The Germans have learned from the Nazi Era and reject War and Globalism Nuclear destruction and support Green culture and a peaceful future.

    Maybe it is time for America to wake up and let go of their fizzy Bubblegum dreams and get real.
    Flying cars and war is simply stupid!

    Do not become the Germany of 1933, you are already half way there!!!

    The future is Hypersonic Zero Emision High Speed Rail.
    The Future is ours.

    Respectfully

    D.W. Major
    CEO
    Zero Emission Transportation Ltd
    http://WWW.ZEROEMISSIONTRANSPORTATION.WEBS.COM
    London
    UK
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    Jul 8 2011: Please join our linkedin discussion group IMobility:Future Vision

    see group profile in or http://slidesha.re/qcqJY7
    or
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0BzHzV0o7gq8yYjliZTRlMTMtMTI0Yi00ZTkyLWI0NWYtZGVmODM0YzZmNDVj&hl=en_US

    The ‘IMobility: Future Vision’ is an international independent discussion group (virtual centre) for multidisciplinary free thinkers from research, governmental and industrial communities; to influence change by thinking beyond the horizon of the current constraints in technology and innovation; addressing real problems related to pace of growth within transport demands and the 'slow progress' in the evolution of effective Transport infrastructure, networks; by pursuing innovative, challenging, adventurous and ultimately transformative engineering approaches towards multi-modal and sustainable transport that enables informed choice through true intelligence.
  • Jul 6 2011: Additional comments about SkyTran:

    I wonder what sort of difficulties SkyTran planners have experienced with implementation. I would guess that urban planning would necessarily involve public servants. Thus, the tax-payer contribution must come into play to some extent to support the public planning for implementing SkyTran. Moreover, I would guess that a NASA based initiative has already benefited from tax-payer contributions supporting NASA, unless they have fenced the budget for SkyTran somehow as a private research investment.

    Just as we see in the profit dominant model for healthcare in the U.S., public servants can come under the influences of corruption and fail to keep the interests of the general public in focus. We have also seen profit motivated private interests begin to creep into plans for Internet traffic, even though the Internet depended on the initial public R&D investments. Private enterprise has important roles to play and can profit from systems designed for the public, but profit models can also distort the best possible and most elegant designs. Distorted profit-oriented designs create systems with unnecessary and intentionally designed limitations in order to maximize profit. The results create systems designed intentionally to fail in some ways to create the incentives driving customers to pay for the limited offerings.

    Perhaps we have a cultural bias in our thinking about public transportation. Historically, we think of public transportation as providing mass transportation using large capacity vehicles, or vehicles chained together, or vehicles riding on rails. Why can't a public transportation system provide transportation for the masses using personal sized vehicles with independent mobility? Then public transportation could have the kind of benefits described for SkyTran. Indeed, in some places it might even implement SkyTran as a mass transit system.
  • Jul 6 2011: A very similar idea based at NASA, called SkyTran, already exists. Ivan O'Neill, in a responce to Bill Ford's TED talk, posted a link about SkyTran.
    http://www.skytran.net/phpsite/home/home.html
    Mabye TED will contact Jerry Sanders to arrange for someone to give a TED talk about SkyTran.

    I see SkyTran as remarkably similar to my original idea for this conversation. SkyTran also removes traffic from the ground into the air and relies on a more personalized scheduling system, allowing you to order your vehicle when you need it using your cell phone. Furthermore, many of the advantages described for SkyTran apply to flying cars as well.

    SkyTran might fit for urban travel, where large populations can share reusable pathways. I'm not so sure that it makes as much sense for rural travel, where building the infrastructure over longer distances would have a much higher cost relative to the number of person's traveling on it. This infrastructure limitation would continue to impose the limitations seen today with respect to the number of pathways available for rural travel, compared to free air travel using flying cars. Today, instead of direct paths, rural travelers often travel long circuitous routes.

    Also, I think a fair vision of the future requires a ubiquitous public transportation system, available to all. The SkyTran website Technology page describes SkyTran as a "profitable system and need not depend on tax-payer subsidies." A profitable system would limit access to paying customers. Without tax-payer subsidies, the fares would put the system out of reach for many travelers, abandoning them to ground vehicles. The description of the customer experience describes looking down to the "snarled and angry traffic jam below." This vision of the future does not have the goal of solving the traffic problem. Instead, it limits comfortable rapid travel to those with the means to pay, while the masses continue to live in transportation hell.
  • Jul 1 2011: Dang - run out of characters.

    We need to rethink the whole transport infrastructure, what cars are and how we use them. I like to think of city transport system as a large sprawled out octopus. Its arms/tenticles the subway/train system linking mayor parts of the city together (and I don't mean like it's now with train-stops every 500m - I don't know if anyone in Sydney actually tried to walk from central to circular quay stations? Its 4 train stops and you can walk the distance in just over half hour. I love how people complain when they miss their train stop going to work in the morning and than race into the gym and run on the treadmill before the work).

    So you would have major train stops linking major population zones and than car system like rental cars or go car or taxi or bikes as a mean of transportation within that particular zone only. This would eliminate private traffic congestion on the roads connecting the major city/suburb areas and localise the traffic. This - plust the fact that all cars would be functional take me from A to B vessels would help the control of the traffic congestion and requirements and allocation of parking spaces.

    If you still wish to take your own vehicle you can as governement would be able to shift funding spent on freeways and city to city and suburb to suburb roads to an amazing train system including --- train-ferries. I mean if you can put a bunch of cars on a ferry-boat why can't the same system be applied to trains.

    All first thought and i'm typing this as it is coming to my head but I feel, less farfetched than flying cars.
  • Jul 1 2011: Interesting. The way I see it the fundamental problem as usual lies within the "Human" nature and our human behaviour. If we are going to fantasize about flying cars and hoverboards we might as well contemplate the option of teleporting technology. As usual the solution would have to come in a simple form and from an more lateral angle. The old "Americans spent millions of dollars inventing and designing a pen that will let the astronauts write in zero-G, while Russians just used led pencils" applies to every "Big" problem.

    How can we change the human behaviour and start designing and using cars for what they really are? A mean of getting from A to B.

    How can we improve public transport and transport infrastructure?

    Do we all have to start work at 9am? Do all kids have to go to school and leave school at the same time? I grew up going to school in shifts. One week school started at 8am next 2pm. My parents worked in shifts too.

    I'd even dare ask do we all have to work monday to friday (not that many of us have weekend free anymore anyhow)?

    Do we have to have Saturday and Sunday only for the weekend? Why could I not have say Monday and Tuesday as my no work days. Why not break up the load on our roads that way - choose your weekend days. If you must have it for religious reasons - keep it this way. This would also mean 7day turn-arround for businesses. And imagine going to the beach (yes i'm in Australia) with 20% of people you would normally have crammed on the beaches on saturday and sunday.

    This one is slightly utopian but as my argument id like to use Dubai. It it was possible to build Dubai in the middle of the desert doing what i have to propose would be nothing in comparison.
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    Jun 27 2011: Much as l like to fly, this idea is a non-starter. It simply transfers the gridlock from the ground to the sky. We are already confronting aviation gridlock now. Having vehicles communicate with one another isn't going to solve the problem: traffic jams have more to do with fluid dynamics than any other cause. Move the fluids around and you will simply find other bottlenecks.

    The fundamental problem we need to address is too many people on the planet. It's the one problem that no one wants to address, because it gets at a very deep need: the need to continue as a species. Even many of our religions demand fecundity as a moral obligation. But this reluctance only kicks the can down the road. If 6 billion people don't want to stop procreating, why would 9 billion want to stop?

    Currently, we are using the resources of this planet as if we have an endless supply of Earths. We don't. It's not gridlock that's the problem. It's overpopulation and resource exhaustion. The only solution: stop making more people.

    I wish I had a better answer. If we don't find a way to make this decision humanely, either we will make it brutally through wars of survival, or the planet will make the decision for us even more brutally.

    Address that and we can address gridlock. Aviation is certainly part of that. Redesigning how we live is another part, to reduce the need for resources, increase open space, and to make what we need and want more locally accessible. I've envisioned small, dense "cities" that can be traversed with canals (think sushi boats), electric carts and busses, on foot and by bicycle. To travel longer distances outside the city, there are electric (or other green) trains, planes, busses, even personal cars that can be rented on a short-term basis.

    "smart" grids make me very wary, because what happens to personal freedom when it's easy for authorities (or anyone) to pick out an individual, and perhaps take over their car? It's too easy to create "1984".
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    Jun 23 2011: We can never create airborne systems that can be far more efficient than systems rolling on land unless it is a perfectly buoyant system like a zeppelin. Its a fundamental engineering problem limited by the rules of physics.

    We already are reaching the upper limit of how latent energy of fuels can be applied and we shouldn't seek to increase our carbon emissions any further with inefficient designs.
    • Jun 23 2011: I agree that an airborne transportation system will become our primary transportation system only when we can supply the required energy without polluting the environment. I believe we can eventually solve the energy problem and have sufficient energy for airborne public transport. With this assumption in mind, thinking about efficiency in design focuses on efficiency questions about building 4 billion cars or building fewer public transport vehicles, and supplying public airborne transportation or widening traffic lanes on the ground. Bill Ford talked with a reference frame projecting to the year 2050. That sets a context for designing the future. In the year 2050, do we want a transportation design that has 4 billion cars using intelligent communication systems to avoid traffic jams and efficiently find parking spaces?
  • Jun 22 2011: It seems to me that the problem of traffic and also of efficiency is not so much gadgets but systems. It always seemed to me that a) the idea that everybody needs a car is so incredibly impractical and excesive b) cars were way too big and heavy - they only needed to carry a person with a handbag or something and c) Roads had mostly too big a role in shaping the physical infrastructure of modern life.
    I see some clever new system invented where small units are moved down vein-like channels with the main vein and smaller and smaller sub-veins leading off it. Its a public transportation system constanly in motion and is a free service to urban society to enhance the local economy. Get on, get off. You just have to know where you are going.
    The part I cant figure out is individuality. What if a city council is broke and can only afford the cheap option whereby richer areas or most common destinations are truly served and the rest become impossible to get to? And what would happen to good old-fashioned exploring?
    • Jun 23 2011: I like these ideas. It helped me to think more carefully about the size of vehicles. I had in mind large public transport vehicles designed to carry many passengers. In some cases it makes sense to minimize the number of vehicles in traffic, like when people carpool. In other cases, like in the last mile returning home from a commute, it makes more sense to have smaller vehicles. Why use a big vehicle to carry only a single passenger? Use the best sized vehicle for each situation.

      Thinking about the small city council with a low budget brings into focus the distribution of resources needed to fund a ubiquitous public transport system. Unless rural residents know they can travel practically anywhere they need to go using public transport, they will feel the need to own a private car. Once they have the convenience of their own private car, they will tend to use it, even when they don't necessarily need to travel alone and they could have used public transport. This increases traffic leading both the small city council and the nearby large city council to widen their traffic lanes to accommodate the traffic. Thus, it seems to make sense to me to invest in public transport in the last mile to the doorstep, because it minimizes the cost of building and maintaining roads.

      The last mile transport of self-flying flying cars could possibly work using cars without paid public employee pilots. When you have a small vehicle carrying only one or two passengers a relatively short distance, I think that makes more sense. Possibly a small city might have one or two operators always present to monitor a system 24x7, to cover emergencies. Or possibly the system could run itself well enough that existing city measures to cover general emergencies would suffice.

      Good old-fashion exploring will happen on foot, on a horse, in a canoe, etc. We don't use automated travel for that. One can always explore using public transport too, just not in the old-fashioned style.
  • Jun 22 2011: This guy is kre-kre. Same old usual American bull about solving ptoblems with whizbang gadgets. Like having drones fight wars instead of not getting into wars. That kind of thing. If he thinks that a well-put arguement about the problems of the future will be solved with talking cars .... oh I dunno what to say. We deserve to have The Terminator come true I guess.

    Ever been in a car and the GPS is so wrong that you get into the wrong neighbourhood? Or an accident? Happens all the time. Booking a parking spot accross-town in New York? Sos you dont have to look for one? Well, yup - good for fuel - but its elitist as usual and relegates those w-out the money to afford smart cars to having no parking. As usual, the 'perfect world' visions of silly men help to create yet more divisiveness in society. Stop relying on WHIZBANG! Its all just to keep an over-loaded economy going anyway. You dont need half o that stuff. They just want your money. No - he's not solving the environmental problem at all actually. Just create modern mass-transit systems and stop being so goddamn selfish as to a) insist on monster trux like they do in Texas, and b) insist on even having 'your own' car like you were a religious fanatic. The world os held ransom to American greed for oil and drugs and the bodies pile up outside our borders because of both. Just stop the need for greed before your society crumbles. Then you'll be too busy dealin with zombies to worry about parking
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    Jun 22 2011: i am from Beijing, China, a growing metropolis like New York, London and Tokyo with huge population and bad traffic envirnment, in which, the local government of beijing releases the lotter measures for controlling the citizen buy a private car. first all, i don't agree the above measures for it infringe upon the right of buying a car. in my opinion, traffic shall be divided into two parts, one is for the public and the other is for the individual. the public part is important and shall be based on information technology for work only by transporting huge population in urban area, the individual part shall maintain the right of the individual for using their private cars and shall limit to use their private car especially for work by using their private car.
    • Jun 22 2011: I agree that individuals should still have the right to a private car, even though my original comment to Bill Ford's talk did not say so. I tried to convey in my comment that I would not feel a need to have a private car, given that I could practically always go where I wanted simply by calling for a public transport. I did say that I could always rent a personal transport, when I did feel I needed one. A service like Zipcar might provide that car, although in the age of flying cars, I would hope I could possibly get a flying car, assuming I had a license to fly one. I think the critical design question involves how to create a ubiquitous public transport system which fulfills the felt need of individuals for transportation so much that they seldom feel the need for a personal transport. Ownership then becomes much less desirable for most individuals and a major payoff to the planet comes from having significantly fewer vehicles in the high traffic zones.
  • Jun 21 2011: I should have included this in the Related Links for this TED conversation.
    Lisa Gansky: The future of business is the "mesh"
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lisa_gansky_the_future_of_business_is_the_mesh.html
  • Jun 21 2011: I should have included this in the Related Links for this TED conversation.
    Robin Chase on Zipcar and her next big idea
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/robin_chase_on_zipcar_and_her_next_big_idea.html

    She describes a technology for implementing a wide area, coast to coast, open source communication network, by using ad hoc, peer to peer, self-configuring wireless networks, also called mesh networks. The design relies on mesh networking devices embedded in every car providing a communication network with a zero ongoing cost for the actual communications.
  • Jun 21 2011: I should have included this in the Related Links for this TED conversation. Shai Agassi's bold plan for electric cars
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/shai_agassi_on_electric_cars.html

    A public transportation service could rely on a fleet of flying cars that could fly routes of relatively short distances and rely on electric batteries using the kind of battery replacement technology Shai Agassi describes.
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    Jun 21 2011: What really would be the advantage in cars that fly. They would use more fuel than ground base cars. The technicalities of crating safe flight pattern during rush hours would be enormous. You would have to book your trip days in advance and once in your car you could not make any last minute alterations to your trip. It really seems like you are just describing a highly inefficient bus system that would eat up an enormous amount of research and development money.

    If anything we should be working on transforming parts of our air transit infrastructure to ground base high speed rail. As for overseas trips and long distance travels Los Angeles to New York lets say planes make a lot of since. Boston to New York really doesn't. It waste to much energy and really is not any faster.
    • Jun 21 2011: Assume hypothetically for a moment that we had existing technology enabling us to build flying cars and that we had a surplus of clean energy that the flying cars used. In such a world, the fact that flying cars use more energy than ground-based cars would not matter. A single cell phone uses more energy than a single landline phone, but the cell phone system makes it possible for more people on the planet to have a phone and makes life more convenient. The cell phone system also reduces the level of the infrastructure of connecting wires. Given that we solve the technology problems, a transportation system with flying cars would solve the traffic gridlock problem of ground-based transportation and reduce the amount of infrastructure needed on the ground.

      I don't believe the problem of crafting safe flight patterns during rush hours would have the kind of complexity for calculations that you describe. We have computer simulations such as Boids (c.f. Wikipedia) which demonstrates that a very simple and elegant algorithm can mimic the behavior of flocks of birds flying together. I think an algorithm that combines something like Boids with other known routing algorithms could easily solve the rush hour traffic problem. Computing the solution to the rush hour problem for a given day could also rely significantly on the solution for the same problem at the same location the day before.

      Now, return to the energy problem. In the TED talk Saul Griffith's kites tap wind energy
      http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/saul_griffith_on_kites_as_the_future_of_renewable_energy.html
      near the end of the talk, he states that his solution could supply all of the energy needed in the USA in ten years. I think when designing the transportation system of the future, we need to separate the energy problem from the transportation problem to some extent. I think we should assume that we can solve the energy problem rather than assume that we could never have enough energy for flying cars.
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        Jun 21 2011: Well there are a bunch of hypotheticals in all this. First off no matter what we do coming up with better energy sources will need to be done, if not we all will be walking. That said if we come up with enough energy that we can power a flock of cars to match the global need there are other problems to deal with. You will need more than a basic algorithm to make this all possible . We will need people to monitor the traffic activity like they do for planes. This is believe it or not a highly stressful job as there is no room for error.
        How readily available will these cars be. In most urban areas one can walk down the street and a bus will come within 15 minutes. No need to schedule ahead.
        You mention the price of streets, but don't mention they serve other purposes than just circulatory system for cars. They allow for pedestrian traffic, serve as places to put store and houses. Even if we rid the world of cars we still would need some form of roads , which were around long before Henry Ford. I agree that we need to change our transit infrastructure, but I feel like what you are proposing is all sex appeal and no practical substance.
        We would be much better to invest in old timey technology such as rail and bus service. Leave portion of streets open to cyclists and walkers. Establish more mix zone neighborhoods, so people do not have to travel as far to get to work, or run daily errands.
        • Jun 21 2011: I agree that the system would require people to monitor the traffic. Given that we had fleets for public transport, I think it would also require the vehicles to have human pilots trained to intercede in emergency scenarios. However, I don't see this as a counterpoint to the idea, because we have the proof of concept for all of this already working in the airline industry. Airlines use autopilot systems that do much of the flying with pilots there to take over when things go wrong. As you point out, air traffic control also monitors traffic at a distance to help prevent collisions and also to step in quickly in emergencies.

          In one sense, making flying cars our primary mode of transportation would scale up the existing airline technology to include more flying vehicles. In another sense, it would scale down the same technology by operating at a smaller scale regionally. Airlines provide transport across continents. A regional traffic terminal might provide transport only in a small local neighborhood. From the local neighborhood terminal passengers would then change flights to go to their destinations.

          I don't deny that we would still need roads. Flying cars would relieve the pressure on existing roads and reduce the maintenance costs required to keep expanding the available traffic lanes. Roads could become more about our human habitats than about providing streets wide enough for two firetrucks traveling at high speeds in opposite directions, because firetrucks could also fly.
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        Jun 21 2011: Well maybe all this could happen, I just don't see it. Won't be the first time I miss an idea. That said you have some major work to do if you want to get this off the ground. I feel though even if this all goes through it does not address the root of the problem which to me is the community being trampled by the individual. Right now with no new technology, no new infrastructure, we could eliminate so much traffic if peopled carpooled more. Traffic jams by their own intrinsic logic imply that many people share the same travel patterns. If we transform our infrastructure hardware without changing our social software why would we just carry our problems over. Traffic jams will now be shortages of flying pods during peak hours.
        • Jun 21 2011: A public transportation system of flying vehicles has an important payoff in the form of reducing the overall number of transportation vehicles required. It also reduces the level of resources devoted to producing idle vehicles. As we learned from the Rachel Botsman TED talk, the average car today sits idle 23 hours a day. Imagine a world with 4 billion cars sitting idle 23 hours a day and spending 32 trillion dollars a year to maintain them. What a waste!

          A public transportation system requires a surplus number of vehicles to avoid shortages during peak hours. Many of them become idle for much of the day, but overall the number of idle vehicles reduces substantially. Therefore, with proper planning, the "shortages of flying pods" shouldn't happen, as long as the surplus number of pods remains high enough to cover peak hours.

          I agree that getting this "off the ground" :-) will require some major work. Perhaps, before this conversation expires we might see some input into that too. I appreciate your comments. I consider even critical perspectives helpful in design. Indeed, they sometimes prove the most helpful.
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        Jun 21 2011: Well I think we can at least agree on the problem, and there is room for numerous solutions. I do wish you well despite my skepticism.
        • Jun 22 2011: Yes, I agree that the idea has several problems, but not necessarily the kind of problems that would make it incapable of succeeding.

          I've thought of a few more.

          The same problems airlines face, related to bad weather, might affect flying cars too. Limited visibility would make it more dangerous to fly, except perhaps in a highly controlled local region. Freezing conditions, such as icing, might not matter to a craft without wings. If large amounts of snow or ice did shut down the system, it would not differ so much from having snow days; people simply stay home until conditions improve. On the other hand, if flying cars could fly safely in such conditions, they would not depend on clearing snow or ice from miles and miles of roads.

          The social problem involved with getting some city to play the role of early adopter would likely prove difficult. Who wants to think about flying cars possibly crashing into their house? Restrictive flight paths could reduce the likelihood of such crashes. Even so, many voting citizens would likely oppose the idea for other reasons too. On the large scale of planet-wide primary transportation, the idea makes sense, but what incentive does a single small region have to play the role of test subjects? This might require special incentives for early adopters. Another approach would form a charter city where people volunteer to live in an experimental city designed to depend on flying cars as the primary mode of transportation within the city.
          Paul Romer: The world's first charter city?
          http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_romer_the_world_s_first_charter_city.html
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    Jun 21 2011: A.G, the last earthbound frontier

    We solve this,we get off the ground,though how far away this option will be available is anyones guess.heres a link you might find helpful,if we can reproduce this effect using e.m fields to power a future vehicle that has nil effect upon the environment then we will see an advancement of all tech at an exponential level unseen.Maybe we can use that Quantum machine D-wave apparently developed to figure it out faster.

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110603/full/news.2011.346.html

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/computing/hardware/a-first-for-quantum-computing

    This is all speculation but what if we put our farms in the air?

    Or even use a DNA computer to fly it for us

    http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-0603-molecular-computer-20110603,0,6631809.story
  • Jun 21 2011: Bill Ford in his TED talk estimated 2-4 billion cars by 2050. Rachel Botsman in her TED talk says the average car costs $8,000/year to run. So, if we go with the 4 billion dollar upper limit on the number of cars, then by 2050 that comes to 32 Trillion dollars every year. For a comparison, the GNP for the USA, for the first two quarters of 2010, came to 29.49 Trillion. Consider that the calculation for the expenditures on cars covers the whole planet. However, I doubt that the $8000/yr average includes expenditures on the infrastructure the cars utilize. I think the $8000 figure covers only the cost the average person spends to maintain a car for a year. Thanks to David Odell for his insight into this calculation from his comment to Bill Ford's talk. Thinking about this predicted size of our future investment in public transportation should help put into focus the urgent need to think carefully about what kind of transportation system we really need. I highly recommend reviewing Tim Brown's TED talk with the idea of this conversation in mind. With this predicted level of future investment involved, surely we need to see more resources available for research into alternatives to the predicted scenario.
  • Jun 21 2011: Replies to my original comment about Bill Ford's TED talk claimed that the energy requirements of flying cars disqualify them as both green and feasible for mass transportation. I claim that our current primary transportation system, relying on ground-based vehicles, does not have scalability for the distant future. I believe our future primary transportation system has flying cars as a requirement in the design, because that relieves us of the burden of maintaining an ever more burdensome system of traffic lanes on the ground. I see this as an urgent requirement, rather than as something simply desirable. We need more extensive public funding made available for research into viable and environmentally friendly flying vehicles, capable of assuming the role of providing our primary transportation. I also think we need to begin designing the information infrastructure for future vehicle communication networks primarily thinking about flying vehicles. The sooner we get on course toward flying cars, the sooner we can leapfrog over the problems of ground-based transportation systems.
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      Jun 22 2011: The Disclosure Project talked about computer controlled flying cars. because the technology was realized by Bruce Cathie, who realized it from seeing so many UFO's as a New Zealand air-pilot back in the '60's, was invited by NASA to America and was able the measure/get the dimensions of the UFO and concluded his Harmonics. This technology of flying "cars" is already here as told to a friend of golfer "The Shark". You get in your vehicle, put in the address and it raises and flies the shortest path.
      And now the EU is asking America what HAARP is about.
      Bruce Cathie believes in that energy and I wish nations would get on with it, instead of trying to see how it can be abused. The UFO grid power-stations are (nearly?) finished. Maybe for December 2012?
      • Jun 23 2011: ACK. I investigated the Disclosure Project and found it enlightening. Thanks for the lead. I didn't know about it.