Flying cars is a concept that is often seen in movies. You want it to be real, but it’s not something you’ll actually see when you go outside. For a very long time now, people have been dreaming of a futuristic society, where flying vehicles are normal. And even though we have planes and helicopters, the idea of a flying car simply seems more exciting.
Well, things might change thanks to eVTOLs. At the moment, there are different manufacturers that have been working for years to bring us the flying cars that everyone is eager to see. It all relies on the shoulders of those working to achieve the goal. It took a while to reach this point and it will take more time until an eVTOL model becomes available to the general population, but at least there is already something to look forward to.
But what exactly are eVTOLs? Are they really the future of aviation? Below, you will find out more about eVTOLs and what they are.
What Are eVTOLs?
eVTOL is short for electric vertical takeoff and landing. This is an aircraft type that can take off and land vertically by using electricity as a power source. It is one of the newest inventions in the aircraft sector, as these vehicles are currently being worked on and developed.
If you’ve seen drones before, then it’ll be easy to imagine eVTOLs. An eVTOL vehicle is just like a drone, but bigger. What’s important to know here is that it works pretty much the same as a drone. Now, of course, there are many manufacturers, and all vehicles have design differences, but most of those developed so far look very similar to a drone.
The production of these vehicles is possible thanks to the evolution of technology so far. As there were some major electric propulsion improvements, it was possible for eVTOL production to begin. Batteries, motors, and electric controllers can all be used to make sure eVTOLs become reality as soon as possible.
Furthermore, the development of eVTOLs started due to people needing some new urban air mobility vehicles. Air taxis are necessary, especially in places where people are going crazy due to how many hours they have to wait in traffic. If things work out properly, people will have the possibility to travel faster from their homes to work, shopping centers and just anywhere they’d like to go.
It is possible for some future models to be fully autonomous, but until then, all vehicles will be piloted by humans. Also, the cabins of the vehicles will use noise-canceling technology, even though the vehicles are already quiet compared to the aircraft we’re used to.
Is There Anything Stopping eVTOLs at the Moment?
Even though progress is continuously made, there are still several things that prevent flying taxis from reaching the market.
- High Costs
In the beginning, the costs can be pretty high. Of course, as time goes by, eVTOLs will be easily accessible for the common person, but until then, the costs will be high, and things won’t simply change overnight.
One of the reasons is that there is a lot of money spent to help develop these vehicles. Aside from the costs of vehicle production, there are also costs related to building the necessary infrastructure. The infrastructure may need to change to make eVTOLs real and operate safely.
When they get on the market, the vehicles will disrupt the insurance models we know at the moment. Insurance for people, aircraft, and insurance types will change. At the moment, there is only one difference between the insurance of a car and that of an aircraft: insurance covers an aircraft both in the air and on the ground in case it is damaged in either of these situations. New policies will have to be made to adapt to eVTOLs.
- Takeoff and Landing Space
Even though there will not be any need to create a giant space for eVTOLs, there’s still a need for takeoff and landing areas. After all, you don’t want a flying taxi randomly landing on your house or in front of your car on the highway. So, before they become real, proper takeoff and landing ports should be implemented.
- Airspace Access
The airspace is pretty busy – therefore, before eVTOLs become the norm, the airspace should have enough room for these flying taxis. This might be possible through computer power. An unnamed aircraft traffic management system might be the way to do it, but it is difficult since the skies are uncharted territory.
- People’s Acceptance
While they are cool, eVTOLs can be quite scary. At the moment, there are Astro Aerospace (OTC:ASDN) eVTOLs, Joby Aviation eVTOLs, and vehicles still under development by many companies, and it’s very likely that in the future these air taxis will exist. But people need to accept them too.
The last thing anyone wants is a flying taxi nonchalantly passing right in front of their windows while they’re having their morning coffee. It’d be chaotic, so people would be terrified of bad things happening.
Until people accept them, there should be a lot of research and information offered by developers and authorities to help the citizens understand these vehicles. This way, they can see how eVTOLs can help and why they may be beneficial compared to other forms of transportation.
How Soon Will We Have eVTOLs?
It’s hard to say when eVTOLs will truly become a reality, but if things keep moving, they might be here in this decade. Some companies predict that flying taxis will be a thing as early as 2023, while others think that only after 2030 can we think of seeing flying vehicles in the sky. It all depends on how fast things are moving and how people will accept and embrace the new technology.
eVTOLs are the future. Once these vehicles enter the market, they will help people move from a place to another much faster, simplifying and improving people’s lives. We just have to wait and see when they will actually be accessible to the population.