When I was a little kid, I was enthralled by the cartoon family of the future, the Jetsons. I loved to watch the adventures of George Jetson, his boy Elroy, wife Jane and daughter Judy. I didn’t quite understand much of what was going on plot-wise but gadget-wise I was totally hooked.
The show featured all sorts of technologies that were amusing although totally implausible at the time. The people movers, treadmills, picture phones, watch phones, and self-propelled vacuum cleaners I saw on television are all part of our modern day existence in 2017. Now another Jetson fantasy will shortly come to life thanks to an innovative collaboration between NASA and Uber. They’ve teamed together to create the flying car.
Uber hopes to begin flying its aerial taxi by 2020. The company has announced three cities where it will begin testing its concept: Los Angeles, Dallas and Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
NASA will develop an air-traffic-control system for the flying-car project, named Uber Elevate or UberAir. The space agency has been working to develop technologies to help make “urban air mobility” (UAM), a reality and drone technology is playing a pivotal role.
To date, there are more than a dozen start-ups seeking to create their own flying cars—Toyota and Airbus have their own electric concept cars utilizing the latest in artificial intelligence. Toyota plans to debut its flying car in time for the Olympics in Japan in 2020. By all estimates, flying cars will be mass produced and ready for consumers within the next 20 years. The skies may become congested but at least these electric or battery-operated flying cars will diminish our carbon footprint by reducing air pollution. Less cars driving on the road also mean less accidents – overall a much healthier prospect for planet Earth.
Personally, I am waiting for the Jetson’s robot maid, Rosie, to arrive. I could use good household help!
Strategic Communications Professional/Content Strategist/Marketing Communications Consultant