Flying cars may be part of your reality sooner than you think. Through a project named myCopter, the European Union is investing €4.2 million (US$6.2m) to research the potential of Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAVs) for Europe's most crowded cities. The idea is for myCopter to attempt to solve the numerous problems that could potentially arise from futuristic flying cars.
To avoid interfering with commercial airliners (and to operate outside the controlled airspace), myCopter predicts that the personal air transport systems would fly at altitudes around 2000 feet. However, several steps still need to be taken to deal with existing aerospace legislation, security and parking and landing space.
"Security issues are an important topic that requires extensive attention when the vision of the myCopter project becomes reality, but we foresee that automation will play a big and important role in the entire transportation system," explains Dr. Bülthoff. "Therefore it could be highly likely that no-flight zones that PAVs simply could not fly in will be designed, because the automation that is onboard will not allow the vehicle to be directed towards these zones."
myCopter is also likely to reduce greenhouse emissions in the long run because the flight path is more direct making trips more efficient. Researchers on the project estimate that trips will be shorter than 62 miles in length -- allowing the vehicles to go entirely electric.
"Already now there are technology demonstrators such as the eCO2Avia from EADS that show that electrically powered vertical flight is possible, even though a diesel generator is currently still required to charge the batteries for sustained flight," added Dr. Bülthoff.
This sounds like an episode from the Jetsons, but we'll take it!