Comments about ‘Future-land! What the future might look like.’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 5 2013 12:40 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

According to the brief bio at the bottom of the article, "Freeman Stevenson is a Snow College grad and a writer for the Deseretnews.com Opinion section."

OK. I got that.

But now, who is the actual subject of the report, Tyler Cowen?

And, perhaps more importantly, why should I care what **he** thinks about the future?

Daniel Leifker
San Francisco, CA

Here is my prediction for what the future holds, and it should scare a lot of politicians.

In 2013 I work for clients across the nation, and it doesn't matter where I live because I work from home. I am getting ready to move out of a very high-tax state.

At some point soon, maybe within 20 years, workers will be able to move out of high-tax nations instead of states. I can easily see a nation like Switzerland or Costa Rica or Singapore or Tahiti opening its doors to high-tech workers who can work anywhere in the world. If only some of the wealthiest U.S. taxpayers emigrated and renounced their U.S. citizenship, then hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. tax revenue would vanish instantaneously, and it would send shockwaves through the U.S. economy.

Omaha, NE

@ Daniel...

Brain technology is going to explode and anyone anywhere will be able to easily send signals, thoughts, video, etc. Millions will be able to work from home or anywhere because it will actually be cheaper to do so. Why would companies have to waste their money on all that office space. You are just part of a trend... which of course means that gov't who are very very good at figuring out ways to get money for what they do... will figure out ways to tax you even there. Internet signals taxes. If it enters the US network, you will pay...

American Fork, UT

Where's my flying car?

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

Sorry, Hutterite... if it looks anything like The Jetsons; I am going to ask for a refund.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Do you agree with Cowen’s vision of the future?" Well no, because the increasingly top heavy distribution of wealth will at some point force extreme conflict, even revolutionary conflict. Even the happy Bohemians described will be pressured to act.

Freeman Stevenson
In the land down under, UT

@Hutterite-All I know is that we have a little less than two years to make hover boards or else Back to the Future is all a lie...and that's not a world I want to live in.

LDS Aerospace Engineer
Farmington, UT

American Fork, UT

Where's my flying car?
6:01 p.m. Sept. 5, 2013


I'm working on it right as we speak.

With proper funding, I could have it up [literally] and running in less than 18 months.

As it stands - it's still a 1/4 scale proof of concept [which works flawlessly I might add :-) ]

And Mister J,
it looks more like a Ferrari than a flying punch bowl.

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

The challenge of the flying car is that city ordinances will prevent them from flying overhead -- too much risk of thousands of vehicles potentially getting into air collisions falling onto populated areas.

People complain about windmills and cell towers "blighting" the landscape... I'd expect people complaining that their sky view will be obstructed by too many flying crafts spewing exhaust across the sky, ruining the scenic beauty of people's view sheds.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

The challenge of the flying car is that city ordinances will prevent them from flying overhead -- too much risk of thousands of vehicles potentially getting into air collisions falling onto populated areas.


That is not true at all.

I'm an USAF veteran, FAA licensed pilot, FAA Licensed Airframe & Powerplant mechanic and have been and Aerospace engineer for Boeing for over 25 years.

The only regulation is not flying under 500 feet over populated areas and noise abatement.
So the only restriction to cause issue is that 500 feet during take off and landing.

land on a rural street, vacant lot or parking lot and drive the remaining 3 blocks home.
BTW - That's why they are called a "Flying Cars" and not "helicopters".
You can still drive them around.

As for air traffic control --
You already can't just jump in and fly anywhere you want whenever you want.

Follow the same rules already in play.

Still not an issue.

BTW - for the record --
My design doesn't use huge rotating blades for lift like a helicopter or folding wings.

Salt Lake City, UT

Well that's cool LDS Aerospace Enginer, but I wonder about a flying car finding wide spread use, at least with modern technology. Perhaps you can correct me if I'm not looking at this right.

-Cost. I would imagine any vehicle that can fly would be relatively expensive.
-Safety. There are enough bad drivers out there right now, I can only imagine the accidents in midair.
-Training. What would it take to learn to fly these things?
-Fuel efficiency. What would be the fuel costs associated with a flying vehicle?

Anyway, good luck to you.

What I think we need to do is switch over to self driving cars. Not only are these cars already being tested on the roads with amazing results, some states have changed their laws to accomadate them. That's what I'm waiting for, get in your car, set the destination, and then take a nap.

-Daniel, what are you talking about? If you want to leave the USA you can do that right now. See ya. Any rich people that want to leave are welcome to also. They are NOT irreplaceable, and we will get along just fine without them.

LDS Aerospace Engineer
Farmington, UT

We've had self-driving airplanes for 70 years. Who do you think developed the technology? [auto-pilots]
[FYI - safety glass, antilock brakes, parkingbrakes, radialtires, cruisecontrol, GPS, even seat belts were all barrowed from Aerospace.]

Safety and Training - There is no "tickets" for bad flying, you are solely responsible for obeying the laws and flying safely.
You either survive and have your license revoked, or die.
There are no cops in the sky enforcing the law.

As for costs -
it doesnt make sense to make a vehicle too expensive to own or operate.

So, I have already shown that it can be built for the same price as current automobiles {$30-40K], flies at 150-200 mph, and gets the same mileage ~ 20 mpg.

BTW - I'm a self professed top notch engineer and a horrible businessman.

Thanks for the luck,
and agreed - self-driving cars can't get here soon enough.

They can't speed, cut you off, tailgate, get distracted, they come to a complete stop, and they ALWAYS use a turn signal.

Salt Lake City, UT

@LDS Aerospace Engineer/LDS Liberal

Would the flying car that you are working on happen to be the Mirror Image Aerospace Skywalker, by chance? If so, very impressive! If not, I'd love to know more!

The following are some other flying car / personal aerial vehicle designs that I found interesting:

Samson Motorworks Switchblade
Terrafugia Transition & TF-X
Haynes Aero Skyblazer
Moller International Skycar
Urban Aeronautics CityHawk
MACRO Industries SkyRider X2R
ParaJet Automotive SkyCar
Gizio CellCraft
Trek Aerospace Dragonfly UMR-1

Everett, 00

I'm the 1st to admit -
mine is not a true Vertical Take-off --
[since it doesn't "need" to be to be considered a flying car.]

My current design is sort of like the Haynes Aero Skyblazer without wings,
making it look more like the HL-10 developed by Northrup for NASA.

To me, a pure VTOL adds to much to the cost, complexity and risk to remain competitive.
Occam's Razor - the easiest answer to satisfy the need is best.

Cars already drive take-off/landing speeds 45-65 mph all day, everyday, everywhere.
So, why not drive a few blocks, and gun it when you are in the clear?

Tired of the freeway traffic? Simply nose it up and leave an empty space for the guy you left behind?

No need to add the complexity to go straight up or down when a 100 200 ft run from 0-50 mph run down any sidestreet will do.
[remember - NO wings]

It needs to be practical and be every bit as much a car as an aircraft to be a real game changer,
like go to the store, church, work and still fit in a standard parking stall or garage.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Safety and Training - There is no "tickets" for bad flying, you are solely responsible for obeying the laws and flying safely.
You either survive and have your license revoked, or die.
There are no cops in the sky enforcing the law."

Haha, like you say, horrible businessman. I don't think you want that to be the catch phrase for your flying car: You either survive and have your license revoked, or die.

Yeah, you really need to put some more thought into the safety and training area. First off, I'd like to know what the cops in the sky, the FAA, do have to say. Would your machine follow the same rules as, say helicopter's or light planes? And those need extensive training to get a license. Also I would imagine having takeoffs and landings from regular roads, with traffic, might be an issue.

Well maybe you've thought that through more then your answer indicates.

Everett, 00


Salt Lake City, UT

Would your machine follow the same rules as, say helicopter's or light planes?


Yes, did I ever say or imply otherwise?

Let's look at the FFA regulations:

There is no FAA prohibition against landing on a road/highway § 91.119.
In the event of an emergency, ALL rules are waived per § 91.3.

The pilot might be allowed (to use the public road for departure) § 91.45.

The same FAA regs/rules apply to helicopters are helicopters.
They take off and land in fields, parking lots, roads and dirt roads all day, everyday.

That's why the FAA considered the air "vehicles", it makes no difference and no exceptions.
Weight is and speed are the only factor in determining air traffic.

It's just that current airplanes CAN'T [because of their wingspans] do these things so it only seems or appears that there are some laws against it.

Ever been to Alaska?
No runways.
Cars and airplanes share the roads and even park side by side along road side stores and gas stations.
Alaska is part of the U.S., and subject to the same laws as the lower 48. No exceptions.

Salt Lake City, UT

airnaut, really? So you are saying that an airplane could legally land on I-15 anytime it wanted, and then take off also? Somehow I doubt it. Maybe in an emergency situation. But I can't believe that there would be no ramifications if a pilot decided to land his plane or helicopter on a road just because he wanted to.

But even if they can, that doesn't address a "flying car". If there were widespread use of flying cars laws would, by necessity, be implemented to address their use, notwithstanding your dismissal of the idea.

If flying cars were in wide use there is just no way that there would not be problems with people taking off of busy roads and then landing back on them. There would have to be laws and regulations governing their use. But it sounds like you haven't given that any thought. And that's cool. I'm not holding my breath waiting to see your "flying car" on the market.

American Fork, UT

Sorry, I was being facetious about the flying car thing. I'm old enough to remember when we were promised, among the marvels of the future, flying cars. There would also be jet packs, and other marvels of the 'pushbutton age'. Some of it has far exceeded what were our expectations back then, but no flying cars. That's good, because, let's face it, we have a hard enough time driving as it is, and flight is far more costly and complex. All in all, the 'future', looking back on what we used to look forward to, hasn't been that bad.

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