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Transportation Technology

Terrafugia Wants Their Flying Car To Be Autonomous 94

Lucas123 writes "Terrafugia, a company that has been working on flying car prototypes for years, said it is now leaning toward an autonomous vehicle for safety reasons. Carl Dietrich, co-founder, CEO and CTO at Terrafugia, said at MIT last weekend that the company wants to build something that is statistically safer than driving a car. 'It needs to be faster than driving a car. It needs to be simpler to operate than a plane. It needs to be more convenient than driving a car today. It needs to be sustainable in the long run,' he said. The company's flyable car is designed with foldable wings and falls into the light sport aircraft category. It's expected to take off and land at small, local airports and to drive on virtually any road. Dietrich said the next-generation flying car is a four-seat, plug-in hybrid that doesn't require the operator to be a full-fledged pilot. A spokeswoman said today that the company is probably two years away from production."
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Terrafugia Wants Their Flying Car To Be Autonomous

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  • by spiritgreywolf ( 683532 ) * on Wednesday February 26, 2014 @09:52AM (#46344927) Homepage Journal

    Okay seriously... I've yet to see a few dozen of the _current_ Terrafugia flying cars roll off a production assembly line (or is it fly?) and here we go chatting about a four-seat plug-in hybrid that doesn't require the pilot to be a be a "full-fledged pilot"? Really? How about actually building and selling something more than a prototype before leaping on the "next-generation" bandwagon already?

    Mr. Deitrich - we're not even close to having something with a power-to-weight ratio in battery storage to get anything but a giant carbon-fiber glider out of ground-effect for any length of time and you have a spokesperson saying something about being only two years away from production?

    Okay, where is he? No really. Is Moller and his Skycar hiding in the weeds someplace behind this company?

    Also, I would think that someone with the money to pull off buying even a low-rider existing Terrafugia prototype - won't have issues learning how to be a "full-fledged pilot". I say this only because I am considering what the monstrous price-tag would be for a semi-autonomous electric-hybrid aircraft capable of carrying four people and having a range of anything beyond running a touch-and-go pattern even once at the airport. That being on top of how long it would take the FAA to approve that kind of vehicle.

    Tilt rotor hybrid for the public? LOL! Yep. I hear we've got a huge shipment of unobtainium coming from Pandora to help in its construction. And as soon as I finish my distillation of my current batch of impossibilium for powering its Infinite Improbability Drive - we're set! Only two years away!

    What amazing times we live in!

    (tongue planted firmly in my cheek while Terrafugia's head is planted firmly in their ass. Hopefully they have a clear acrylic stomach lining so they can see where they're going)

    Apologies in advance for my dour attitude. I put Terrafugia, Moller and any production "flying car" right up there with next generation solar cells cheap enough for everyone and super carbon-nanotube batteries with enormous energy densities being available.

    Oh wait! No... False alarm... No monkeys flying out of my ass yet... I guess I'll have breakfast and carry on with my day... :(

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton