[From: BBC Future, World Changing Ideas, 31 October 2013]
The idea of having a part car, part plane, part drone parked outside your home may not be as far-fetched as it seems. There really aren’t any technological hurdles to this. So says Mary (Missy) Cummings, Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Jetpack era poised for take off We are going to have personal air vehicles that are both cars and planes, at least that’s Missy Cummings’s vision of the future. It’s basically the intersection of a drone with a robotic car, so that your plane is also your car, but the big leap in technology is that you are actually driving neither, says the professor.
Drones have a negative bias in the media, says Cummings, because they are essentially seen as spy cameras. But most people don’t realize that when they are on a plane they are effectively travelling on a drone. The fly-by-wire technology that exists on all Airbus and many Boeing aircraft is they same technology that exists on drones.