Comic Talk and General Discussion *

Discussion on future tech and society - Monday Musing - Flying Cars!
sunseeker25 at 1:12AM, July 31, 2018
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Here's the topic for today - please share your thoughts in a comment!



I don't have a pilot's license, but if I did, I would want the option to try to fly it if I needed to. If something went wrong my first idea is to let the backup systems get me on the ground intact (whatever method that might be), but at the end of the day I believe in being able to help yourself in all cases. Maybe more tellingly, I wouldn't want to be IN a flying car without a pilot's license and manual controls if I needed them, but that's just me.
The Tourist at 3:43AM, July 31, 2018
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Presumably this will be short trips, domestic and casual-low altitude . I dont think society will wear it, given concerns such as safety and privacy and the ever present threat of terrorism. Domestic drones will probably be banned as soon as they prove a growing nuisance.
- Unless there is some control with flight plans etc –

Imagine a swimming pool with water scooters tearing around :)
Ozoneocean at 4:48AM, July 31, 2018
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It wouldn't be much different than being a passenger in a taxi or a normal aeroplane though would it? So what's the issue really?
 
bravo1102 at 6:58AM, July 31, 2018
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So this is an automated vehicle with the controls locked out? Anything that would take a passenger would probably have manual controls or an emergency landing system.

Depending on how the car flies it could be auto rotation or jets have an auto landing over ride for emergency or an escape capsule. The FAA and MTSB would have all kinds of new regulations for a flying car.

Maybe all the cars would be on an artificial intelligence network with the central system taking over for emergency landings. Back-up systems and redundancy.

Or even the inflatable Otto pilot as in Airplane. 😁
last edited on July 31, 2018 7:02AM
fallopiancrusader at 5:29PM, Aug. 1, 2018
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The biggest problem is the one you already mentioned: how to get down to the ground in a survivable way if something goes wrong (like engine failure or a collision). All of the flying car designs out there now would just fall out of the sky like a stone if they lost their power. Maybe there could be a big parachute that deploys if the car is descending at faster than a programmed velocity, and at a lower than a programmed altitude. That way it will still deploy even if the occupants are knocked unconscious in a collision.
El Cid at 6:36PM, Aug. 1, 2018
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The short answer is: no I wouldn't be okay with it.

***

The longer answer is: I wouldn't like it, but if I lived in a society where that was the only way to get around efficiently, I guess I'd have to go along with it, even though I'd hate it and make a big stink about it every time someone gets killed by one of these automated death machines.

***

The even longer answer is: I can understand why a world with flying cars would want automation. There's too much danger to people on the ground if you have thousands of aerocars zipping around overhead at breakneck speeds. And in fairness, some automation would likely be necessary to operate such vehicles safely.

HOWEVER, I'm generally not convinced by arguments to the effect of “Well, statistically, you're less likely to be killed in an accident if your vehicle is fully automated.” People who make these arguments don't understand statistics. Lump figures like that can provide a predictive model for a population, but they tell you nothing about a given individual because they lump together actors with completely different behaviors and risk factors. By maintaining your vehicle and operating it safely (including automated assists), and looking out for dangerous flyers, you can drastically minimize your level of risk. With compulsory automation, you cannot control risk, and when the accidents happen (and they will still happen), it is entirely the system's fault. So from that perspective, I'd object to compulsory automation.
sunseeker25 at 5:02PM, Aug. 13, 2018
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ozoneocean wrote:
It wouldn't be much different than being a passenger in a taxi or a normal aeroplane though would it? So what's the issue really?

I should have stated that these wouldn't have pilots, they'd be automated.
El Cid at 5:24PM, Aug. 13, 2018
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I think his point was that the automation essentially is the pilot.

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