Flying Cars and Alphabets
I had seen in my dreams many times that flying cars would actually become a reality. Now that both Uber and Google have announced test markets, my dreams likely seem trivial to some.
Uber will be testing here in Dallas, and Google in Phoenix. I suspect that these choices are anything but random. Both cities reach some of the highest temperatures during summer weather of any municipalities in the United States. This is important because, effectively, the people using the services in these cities will be “beta testing,” and I am certain the providers will want to iron out any bugs associated with problems with “lift.” As air temperature increases, and as altittude increases, each independently (and moreso together) cause “lift” to decrease. This increases the likelihood of accidents due to failures related to lift.
(Note: these “flying cars” are essentially modified drones (quad-copters) rather than fixed wing aircraft and likely do not permit human intervention in the piloting process. The network of these machines (AAVs, or “autonomous aerial vehicles”) almost certainly “talks” to each individual air-taxi as well as some kind of co-ordination sanctioned by the FAA with conventional aircraft. And, no doubt about it, DOD and IARPA will be interested because even the mere possibility of this will dramatically affect plans for battlefield logistics.)
Once these bugs are worked out, hopefully with no loss of life or limb, then the services can test at the other extreme, cold temperatures, to deal with problems related to icing (and de-icing).
Any new service like this exists within a “culture” associated with the particular city and surrounding region. (Actually, the “DFW Metroplex” is composed of a number of cities, notably Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Arlington, and Denton are the largest with many others also in the mix. Phoenix likely has a similar configuration.)
These cultures could be viewed as “Ecosystems” replete with a variety of personalities both within and across other strata such as age (developmental stage as well as particular co-horts), race, sex, economic status and other factors. Different members of the ecosystem are almost like chess pieces on a chess board or characters of an alphabet that, operating over time together, form words, sentences, paragraphs, and tales of who we are collectively.
How these members of the alphabet (or chess pieces) interact with the services are as important, or more important, than questions of lift and temperature. The most important may be the “negative stakeholders” such as kids with laser-pointers who aim to disrupt the network for the sake of a brief thrill and feeling of “power” over others.
Or maybe the more malicious will find a way to acquire items like “anti-drone shotgun shells” to use to attack passenger vehicles. (Why were these developed in the first place? Are they to further shift the lopsided balance of power between the citizenry and “law enforcement” personnel, some of whom are not trustworthy? (If you click that link, pay close attention to the part that reads: “…jail surveillance camera in the hallway outside Whitt’s cell should have recorded what had happened in the vicinity of the cell. But curiously-and more than a little troublingly-the only available copy of the surveillance recording contains several “greenout” periods during which the counter progresses but the screen displays solid green or solid white.“)) These “anti-drone” rounds would be a great way to halt legitimate citizens from being able to video police
murdering “misusing lethal force” from a drone armed with lethal force. (We are not saying all law enforcement personnel do things like that. But even “one” is one too many. And the “blue wall of silence” protects bad guys with shields who harm innocent people.)
(Don’t “flying guns” (mounted on drones) just seem like a bad idea in general? NO drone should have a firearm on it, police drone, citizen drone, or otherwise.)
I can hear it now: “quick, knock out that drone so they cannot see what we are really doing.” That is a GREAT way to make certain that videos similar to this one (but maybe outdoors) do not get made. But, you can bet that the persistent surveillance of a flying panopticon is coming, a serious threat to our civil liberties–treating us all like criminals, unless we can find a way to stop it!)
I think the AAV’s should have their own cameras and livestream directly to autonomous servers, including off-continent servers that cannot be “hacked” to erase the evidence, maybe protected by multiple TOR circuits (or something similar), “just in case” someone attacks them.
Back to our original topic:
Long term, I believe, the “flying cars” will have a new name (AAV?), new legends (“I survived the police ‘accidentally’ shooting down my drone”), and a source of lift: MHD. I mentioned that in an earlier post, before the public anouncements of Uber and Google: we will ultimately have MHD driven “flying cars” (and maybe bullet trains that use that as a source of locomotion).
Since “things” are moving faster than I expected (I did not think “flying cars” would be announced until 2030 or 2040), I now must wonder: how long until the announcement to the public of MHD as a viable drive? (MHD = magneto-hydro-dynamics, quite similar to the “ion drive” of Star Trek) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetohydrodynamics
The development of MHD (and its many applications) may prove as revolutionary as development of the Internet.