Flying cars sound pretty cool, but if they're really a good idea, it's time for debate. Fortunately, they seem to have some surefire benefits, among other things, you can now count on improved efficiency – in theory and on long trips. But that's something!
Aviation takes a huge amount of energy, since you have to lift something heavily into the air and keep it there for quite some time. This is often faster, but rarely more efficient than ground transportation, which means that gravity does the hard work.
Of course, when a plane reaches its height, it crosses at high speed with little friction to fight with, and if you & # 39; When you walk 100 feet or 50 miles, just take off once. So the University of Michigan scientists thought it might be a sweet place where to take a flying car can actually save energy. Sharp out there is … kind of. The team published its results today in Nature Communications.
UM engineers made an efficiency model for both land transport and electric vertical launch and landing (VTOL) aircraft, based on specifications from airlines working with them. [1
They looked at how these different theoretical vehicles performed when they took different amounts of people, and decalcified energy.
As you may think, it is not very convenient to walk a mile or two since you use all that energy to height and then have to come right back. But on the 100 km mark (about 62 miles) it looks a little different.
For a 100 km ride, a single passenger in a flying car uses 35 percent less energy than a gas powered car, but still 28 percent more than an electric vehicle. In fact, the flying car is better than the one that starts at about 40 km. But it will never address the EVs for efficiency, even if it gets close. Do you like charts?
To make it better, they had to sit the numbers a bit and the assumption that flying taxis would be more likely to operate at full capacity, with a pilot and three passengers, while ground vehicles were unlikely to have an average accommodation of 1.5 persons. With that in mind, they found that a 100 km trip with three passengers barely beats per person's efficiency of EV.
It may seem a bit of a thin win, but remember that the flying car would be making the trip probably a quarter of the time, unaffected by traffic and other issues. Plus there is the view.
It is quite theoretical right now, of course, but studies like this help companies who want to enter this business decide how their service will be organized and marketed. The reality may look a little different than the theory, but I will take some reality with flying cars.