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(Science Alert (Australia))   Researchers want commuters to trade in their cars for a personal mini-helicopter to reduce traffic congestion in citi ... look, you had me at 'mini-helicopter' (pic)   (sciencealert.com.au ) divider line
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2515 clicks; posted to Geek » on 19 Jun 2014 at 10:45 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



23 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2014-06-19 10:15:20 AM  
I want one, but I don't want anyone else to have one.  Yeah I'm a selfish prick.

I don't need to worry about some idiot crashing into my house, or the sky above my yard all of a sudden becoming a major commuter route.  Most commuters are barely able to cope with two dimensions, much less three.
 
2014-06-19 10:46:13 AM  
So long as the default fail position is "falling on someone else or their property" the idea is not viable.
If they can find a way to make sure the the default fail is something other than falling, it can happen.
 
2014-06-19 10:48:01 AM  

EvilEgg: Most commuters are barely able to cope with two dimensions, much less three.


Yeah, this. An extra dimension will exacerbate the current issues, not solve them.
 
2014-06-19 10:49:33 AM  
I want what the gas efficiency is on those.
 
2014-06-19 10:50:37 AM  

EvilEgg: I want one, but I don't want anyone else to have one.  Yeah I'm a selfish prick.

I don't need to worry about some idiot crashing into my house, or the sky above my yard all of a sudden becoming a major commuter route.  Most commuters are barely able to cope with two dimensions, much less three.


Set the table, this thread is done.
 
2014-06-19 10:53:14 AM  
I'll take it, as long as it has an emergency chute like the Icon.
 
2014-06-19 11:00:56 AM  
allthingsd.com
 
2014-06-19 11:02:36 AM  

seniorgato: I want what the gas efficiency is on those.




Terrible, but the long term goal is to make them electric and automated.
Without traffic delays or having to snake all over the countryside in a vehicle full if impact protection systems, the efficiency probably isn't that bad.
 
2014-06-19 11:09:35 AM  

way south: seniorgato: I want what the gas efficiency is on those.

Terrible, but the long term goal is to make them electric and automated.
Without traffic delays or having to snake all over the countryside in a vehicle full if impact protection systems, the efficiency probably isn't that bad.


Most ultralights get 10-15mpg. Consumer model is probably going to require more protections than the ultralights that aren't remotely safe.
 
2014-06-19 11:14:43 AM  

EvilEgg: I want one, but I don't want anyone else to have one.  Yeah I'm a selfish prick.

I don't need to worry about some idiot crashing into my house, or the sky above my yard all of a sudden becoming a major commuter route.  Most commuters are barely able to cope with two dimensions, much less three.


To implement them properly, you won't really be 'flying' them. They will fly a trajectory that is based upon a destination that you provide them. They will have to be like self driving cars. On top of that they will have to have redundant systems to communicate with a cloud based central flight control that will coordinate the flight of the swarm realtime.

In the event that any one for the vehicles detects that enough of the redundant systems have gone offline, it will automatically ground itself.

There should be no flight controls that the users has access to that would actually allow them to 'fly'.

People are just apes that poop in water, and you cannot trust them to cleanly wipe their own asses, aka not smart.
 
2014-06-19 11:38:01 AM  

way south: seniorgato: I want what the gas efficiency is on those.

Terrible, but the long term goal is to make them electric and automated.
Without traffic delays or having to snake all over the countryside in a vehicle full if impact protection systems, the efficiency probably isn't that bad.


The efficiency is probably going to be worse than any car. It has to be powerful enough to propel the car up and then keep it up, not just move it forward. a surface vehicle just has to worry about moving forward.
 
2014-06-19 11:40:03 AM  
I don't trust any 'ordinary' person to be able to deal with wind gusts and other freak weather occurences. Get an ordinary guy to drive one in calm weather? Okay, believable. But calm weather is the most unbelievable part of that.
 
2014-06-19 11:55:43 AM  

starsrift: I don't trust any 'ordinary' person to be able to deal with wind gusts and other freak weather occurences. Get an ordinary guy to drive one in calm weather? Okay, believable. But calm weather is the most unbelievable part of that.


You have to assume that self-driving cars become mundane first. I would not trust people with flying, but computers would probably have an easier time flying than driving.
 
2014-06-19 12:03:27 PM  

starsrift: I don't trust any 'ordinary' person to be able to deal with wind gusts and other freak weather occurences. Get an ordinary guy to drive one in calm weather? Okay, believable. But calm weather is the most unbelievable part of that.


Not to mention the first time somebody gets hauled tail-first into a Cumulonimbus by an updraft and gets to experience Hypoxia at 15,000 feet.
 
2014-06-19 12:05:24 PM  
Yup thats what we need somebody flying while they put on makeup, talk on the phone, eat or read.
 
2014-06-19 12:08:00 PM  
And the second you fly over some psycho's property he'll second amendment your ass into the ground. Thanks but no thanks.
 
2014-06-19 12:13:53 PM  
Because one thing we know is that helicopters and other small aircraft are cheaper, safer, cleaner, and easier to use than public transport.

Forget global warming. If you want to destroy America, just give 320 million people flying bombs and let them do it themselves.
 
2014-06-19 12:14:43 PM  

starsrift: I don't trust any 'ordinary' person to be able to deal with wind gusts and other freak weather occurences. Get an ordinary guy to drive one in calm weather? Okay, believable. But calm weather is the most unbelievable part of that.


Humans would really only control the direction it goes, everything else will be run internally like some of the newer home drones are.
 
2014-06-19 12:17:39 PM  

Tobin_Lam: way south: seniorgato: I want what the gas efficiency is on those.

Terrible, but the long term goal is to make them electric and automated.
Without traffic delays or having to snake all over the countryside in a vehicle full if impact protection systems, the efficiency probably isn't that bad.

The efficiency is probably going to be worse than any car. It has to be powerful enough to propel the car up and then keep it up, not just move it forward. a surface vehicle just has to worry about moving forward.




I think it will be a toss up.
Most cars don't burn their fuel very efficiently and you're surrounded by crumple zones and airbags, driving on bad roads that are clogged with traffic and don't always take you directly where you want to go... When they can get you there at all, because the efficiency is lost if you have to get on a plane or boat just to complete a short trip.

Electric vehicles are more efficient and you'll be spending less time in the air while moving much faster. Short hop personal air travel will open up a range of opportunities and cut an hours travel time to minutes in many cases.
Its a lot of energy but burned for a shorter period and more efficiently.

While it might not change much in first world suburbia, it'll make a big difference to those of us who live on islands or in areas where terrain and congestion can cause trips to be far more arduous than they need to be.
The real question is how much will this cost per trip, and for that they'll have to mass produce these things to get a competitive answer.
 
2014-06-19 12:28:38 PM  
One of my Father's ex-coworkers had his own private helicopter back in the Seventies. At that time it cost $650 a hour to fly the thing. I visited my favourite site to convert to current dollars: $2,320 with 1978 as the base year.

$2,320 an hour. For a pliot and fuel and other operating costs. The poors are driving cars that aren't worth that.

Flying commercial is quite safe. The only thing safer is a bus which has about 1 death per 500,000,000 miles of travel. But small aircraft are in a league of their own when it comes to safety. They are not as safe as cars or SUVs.

Here's some random stats:

So mile per mile, GA flying has about 5 times as many fatal accidents, and 9 times as many fatalities, as compared to travel by motor vehicle. The airlines have about the same fatality rate as driving, but a much lower fatal accident rate (by virtue of a large number of fatalities per accident).

http://www.meretrix.com/~harry/flying/notes/safetyvsdriving.html

I'm guessing that some a-hole would be the first person to fly their car into a major commercial flight about 15 minutes after the advent of flying cars of any kind, especially helicopters.

Flying cars have been a pipe dream of Popular Mechanics readers and writers since before I was born and will still be when I am long gone. The rich already have the option of living in a gated community that can only be accessed by aircraft or of buying a large ranch in the Rockies or the flyover states generally. Just don't go there is my advice.
 
2014-06-19 12:59:28 PM  
Helicopters are farking noisy.  Having thousands of them filling the skies of a city would make the city a miserable place to live.
 
2014-06-19 01:23:16 PM  
I know I'm an outlier here but I want one and want everyone else to have one too. Sure it might be madness at first but things will work out. I'll bet we could do this with a safety record better than that of cars.
 
2014-06-19 02:02:16 PM  
My uncle designed one of these in the 70's. He convinced his very wealthy father-in-law to fund it. As you can tell, the rest is history, with tiny helicopters in every garage in America.
 
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