Shaun Sadlier's blog: Could fleets adopt flying cars?
21 March 2017
In among all the usual news from the Geneva motor show - new models from major manufacturers including lots of impressive-looking soft-roaders and EVs - something caught my eye and made me smile: the unveiling of a flying car prototype.
The companies launching it are heavyweights - Airbus and Italdesign, so this is no garage hobbyist fantasy. However, what really interested me in the story I was reading was that there are no fewer than five companies, some of them quite credible, currently trying to bring flying cars to market. Clearly, a reasonable number of talented people believe that there will be a market for these machines.
At this stage, I should probably make clear that I am in no way suggesting that fleets should be considering adopting flying cars now or in the future. In fact, considering the operational difficulties of companies operating vehicles of this type were what inspired this blog.
For a start, the Health and Safety implications are neverending. What qualifications would a driver/pilot need to get behind the wheel of such a vehicle? How would you decide which trips were safe to take by air or where it was safe to land? The insurance considerations alone are terrifying.
Added to this are a range of dull but practical questions - where would it be safe to park? Is it easy to keep clean? Also, I have some serious questions to ask about not just the costs of buying a flying car but those relating to consumables such as fuel, oil and tyres. I suspect these and other costs will be - excuse the pun - sky high.
However, there are some clear advantages. The ability to take off vertically when you are stuck in a traffic jam is, I am sure, a fantasy that many company car drivers have entertained.
In a world where technology has advanced sufficiently to allow us to talk credibly about the prospect of self-driving cars arriving on fleets within a few years, it can sometimes seem like anything is possible. But it is too large a leap to consider that a business could put its employees into flying cars. Or could they?