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The world is ready for flying cars?

Date:2017-9-26 15:07:26

The technical backbone for flying cars seems to be there already-with drones becoming ever-present and advancements in AI and self-driving cars-but the time is coming soon that flying cars will be the primary mode of transportation.

At TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017, Thrun-who is generally considered as the first person of proposing the concept of autonomous driving-talked a lot about flying cars and how that was the future of transportation. so did GGV's Jenny lee, a prolific investor in China. and so did Steve Jurvetson, one of the original investors in SpaceX.

At TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017, Thrun said, "I can't envision a future of highways and being stuck in cars. I envision a future where you hop in a thing, go in the air, and fly in a straight line. I envision a future where Amazon delivers my food in the air in five minutes. The air is so free of stuff and is so unused compared to the ground, it has to happen in my opinion."

Lee-a prolific investor in China-this morning also said that china is closely analyzing changes in transportation. That, of course, might end up leading to flying cars. "I do want to highlight that there's going to be huge disruption within the transportation ecosystem in china," Lee said. "Cars going from diesel to electric. China has about 200 million install base of car ownership. In 2016, only 1 million cars are electric. the Chinese government hopes to install 5 million parking lots that are electric... even the Chinese OEMs are buying into flying taxis."


Around five years ago, flying cars might have seemed like a crazy concept. now Udacity has a class in flying cars. Google co-founder Larry Page backed a flying car startup. Lee suggested that flying cars are, indeed, the real deal. Jurvetson may be taking joy rides in flying cars. Thrun seems to think we are inches from flying cars. And while we live in a silicon valley bubble that dreams big and is sometimes pretty navel-gazing, given the pace of change in artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, there may be something there.

At last, Thrun said, "there's no reason to be stuck in traffic anymore when we can fly. With a flying vehicle, I would make it from Palo Alto to San Francisco in 10 minutes and pay 50 cents in electricity costs. People say it's a decade away, it's two years away honestly. There's no technical reason it can't be done, it's much more a societal reason."