It’s almost 2011 and yet the world of the Jetsons still seems far off. People have been dreaming of flying cars for decades, while the drivers of Los Angeles dream about flying cars every day as they sit in traffic commuting to and from work. The prototypes still need a lot of work and there is nothing close to any kind of workable regulatory structure in place to deal with millions of flying cars buzzing around our skies, but the reality of a flying machine that you can park in your garage every night is getting closer. Entrepreneurs, NASA and the Pentagon are all working individually, and in some cases collaboratively, to construct a flying car that is commercially and aerodynamically viable. This year a dune buggy type vehicle that uses a parachute and prop engine was approved for flight by the FAA and for use on the road by the state of Florida. Could a robot maid be far behind?
Sharon Weinberger, national security & technology reporter for Popular Mechanics; author of the article "Driving on Air" in the January issue