What is The Future of Flying Cars?

Updated: Nov 2

Written by Aalok Budhani


Six decades have elapsed since George Jetson's spacecraft made its debut on American television. Since that day, almost everyone has fantasized about the possibility of traveling in a flying vehicle. Flying vehicles have, in fact, only ever been the stuff of science fiction, but if you're a lover of the Jetson's ideal, there seems to be great news for you; as flying cars could be coming soon.

On July 15, the Samson Switchblade, a wing-mounted 3-wheeler, received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Nevertheless, if the same announcement has your adrenaline pumping, you must practice patience. We still can't fly in a Switchblade despite the FAA's flight safety clearance. By taking this move, the government authorized its producer, Samson Motorworks of Meadow Vista, California, to start test flights. One may find solace in Samson's promise to make Switchblades readily accessible for purchasing when devices have passed the trials in around two years, though.

Nevertheless, even if the vehicles pass the test flights and are ready to purchase, this would follow a strict and legal regulatory framework imposed both on the manufacturer as well as on the users/purchasers of these vehicles. The Switchblade's 1,100-foot departure field and 700-foot runway are also necessary for flight. In simpler terms, when Switchblade operators would like to soar, they'll have to take their flying vehicles to airports — or somewhere that looks like that of an airfield. Additionally, a pilot's license is required. Furthermore, acquiring insurance for flying automobiles would appear to be a no-brainer, yet none is presently available.

Though, there is not a regulatory framework available right now for flying cars- yet there are many factors that the FAA would take into account before permitting this novel technology to be utilized in commercial and domestic use. The introduction of flying automobiles will necessitate significant improvements in ATC standards and processes. In order to manage commercial airplane travel entering and exiting terminals, the current ATC system was devised. Arrivals and departures are planned, following proper aviation routes at airports worldwide. The deployment of flying automobiles in urban areas, whether on a small level, would pose serious impediments and the possibility of navigation errors that may result in fatal crashes. Tackling operating difficulties and guaranteeing security amid weather-related emergencies is another important factor.

The two recent deadly crashes of Boeing 737 Max airplanes show the devastating results of mechanical malfunction and lax legislative supervision. Because of the breakdown of robotic aviation flight control systems, the 737 Max disasters are particularly crucial for the creation of flying automobiles. Therefore, Modern aircraft models and aviation equipment must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in accordance with federal law. The driver (or pilot) of the aircraft and the airborne and earth safety nets (services) will need the proper qualifications and oversight including both manned and automated flying Automobiles. Guidelines through the use of a conservative Safety Management System would be required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which will also oversee and administer efficient control activities, as soaring automobiles would include aerial egress (i.e., aviation) (Del Balzo,


2016). The FAA does have a completely clear structure in place for conventional airplanes, including flight operations locations (hubs), licensing and certification of aircraft, and a framework for controlling air travel. Traffic management systems need to make additional adjustments to account for the projected arrival of flying automobiles, and in contrast to smaller drones, the procedure for controlling manned flight will indeed be difficult and time-consuming. The ultimate beginning measure towards assuring safety for any and all participants is a legal framework for flying automobiles that is equitable for all parties (Including passengers to operators, to public or private infrastructure owners). Eker et al. (2019) assessed the viability of 4 security protocols in regard to the public's perception and confidence in the controls again with the purpose of setting a benchmark for legislation and protection mechanisms. Such steps include: (a) using current FAA regulations for flying car air traffic control; (b) creating an air-road police department with aerial police automobiles; (c) carefully screening and verifying the backgrounds of flying car proprietors and operators; and (d) creating no-fly areas for flying cars close to critical areas, which would include army facilities, energy generation plants, administrative buildings, and significant transport networks, to mention a few.

The very first flying automobile was given FAA certification previously in early 2021. The Transition "roadable aircraft" is the questioned vehicle. The Massachusetts-based company that makes it, Terrafugia, is held by the Chinese conglomerate Geely, one that also controls Volvo and Lotus. The Special Light-Sport Aircraft airworthiness certificate was given to the 2-seater vehicle by the FAA. Acquiring the certification was a "big accomplishment," according to Terrafugia. The certificate for the Special LSA was issued on January 15. In contrast, to complete production schedules, it says that the Transition is "made to the appropriate FAA acceptable standards and certifications." According to Terrafugia, it conducted 80 days of pilot training with the Transition, sent 150 technical papers to the FAA, and cleared the FAA inspection with flying colors. Although the Transition is presently accessible like an aircraft, a street-legal model may arrive only after 2022. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal aviation administration both have regulatory standards that the flying automobile must adhere to. A current sports pilot's license and driver's license are required for any individual who wants to operate the Transition in both directions. After receiving FAA clearance, the Terrafugia Transition must now satisfy NHTSA specifications.

It suggests that flying automobiles have taken to the air and therefore will grow in the presence. The FAA is the controlling agency in the United States for every airplane and aircraft. The Federal aviation administration promotes more General Aviation (GA) usage, so it appears that almost all nations do the same. The term "GA" refers to aviation involving personal, nongovernmental, and non-military aircraft. In order to drive a flying car, one just has to register the flying automobile with the FAA. They are then assigned an N number, which functions similarly to a license plate on a vehicle. The FAA approaches flying vehicles precisely the same way because they function in the exact same manner as conventional aircraft.


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